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The brand new play about porn and patriarchy. Director Grace Duggan talks WOOD

WOOD director Grace Duggan chats about her first-hand experience of getting up close and personal with the patriarchy at work, whilst directing a play that explores just that...

WOOD is brand new play about porn and patriarchy. It’s 1983. San Fernando Valley. John Rolando is the glittering porn star of the moment. But when he fails to get it up, his life – and the play – begins to unravel. WOOD pits the obviously misogynistic world of 1980’s porn against a modern day rehearsal room and tries to answer the question ‘has anything really changed?’.

Myself and Adam Foster (Writer) started work on WOOD during Catalyst 2018, an artist development scheme that runs at the North Wall every year. Since then we have worked closely to develop this piece ready for VAULT 2019.

It’s funny, sometimes when I think about the last year and the various jobs I’ve been doing whilst freelancing to get to this point and I never thought this is where I would end up. Working on a play that is primarily driven by systemic patriarchy means I found myself entering a world I didn’t quite realise the magnitude of.

As a young female working class director (what a fun box I’ve put myself in), I’ve found myself faced with real-life circumstances that mirror the play almost entirely. I have been in situations plenty of times where my jaw has dropped, it’s madness that these rehearsal rooms or workplace structures continue to exist and that we as 21st century women have to continue to navigate them.

Even now, I feel like talking about it makes me seem like some kind of fraud. I mean, am I a real feminist?... It got outed over the Christmas dinner table last year, so surely, I must be (that’s another story, that I’m more than happy to share if you ask me).

But I guess, what I’m trying to give you a hint of, is that there have been moments where I have been undermined, talked over and in the face of it all, disrespected in comparison to my counterpart - the writer, Adam Foster. There have been moments all throughout this process where we have been treated differently. With people assuming that Adam, simply because he is a man, should in some way be more respected.

So now... we have WOOD. Adams ability to take from these experiences, extrapolate from the actors we’ve met along the way (thanks you lot!) and manipulate it into an hour-long piece, is a pretty big triumph in my eyes.

Coming face to face with the patriarchy as we have developed WOOD has made me surer than ever that young creatives need to be putting their voices and energy behind work like WOOD in order to challenge our ideas of how far we have come and remind us of the change that we still have to fight for.

Today we find ourselves here, with this bubbly, exciting and confronting meta theatrical comedy! A play about porn and patriarchy... I mean, what more do you need in your life!

VAULT festival is WOOD's very first full outing into the world, and we can’t wait to see where it goes next. I can promise that there will be 80s music…

There’s hope in it all mates. There’s hope in it all.

Much love,
Grace Duggan

WOOD
Part of Vault Festival 2019
27th Feb – 3rd March: 21:10 / 2nd March matinee: 16:40
Brick Hall - The Vaults, Leake Street
More info and Tickets: vaultfestival.com