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What would you do if you were in power for the day?
Amend the rules so I could have a year. But good news for you: I intend to be a benign despot. Mind you, I bet all the despots say that at the start.
Who is your ‘Woman in Power’ and why?
Margaret Atwood. I think she is using her global fame to make people ask themselves important questions. She never offers cheap answers. Oh, and she’s still writing great novels. Be more Atwood, is my current motto.
What do you hope audiences will take away from Women in Power?
I hope they’ll see how the power of voting is intrinsically subversive, and I hope they remember that next election day. Ideally, I hope they remember it a bit sooner and stand for office as well as voting for it. I would like more Aristophanes-literate MPs; I think a sense of the ridiculous might be good for the Houses of Parliament.
In the fight for gender equality, where do you hope we will be in ten years’ time?
Aristophanes imagines a scenario in which women break rules to get some of the power which is handed over to men automatically. We still need to do that now in many contexts. I hope more rules will have been broken, and I hope more power will have been grabbed. We’ve waited too long to keep waiting.
What influences did you draw on when writing Women in Power?
All the women who have been fearlessly silly onstage and onscreen in my lifetime, from Cloris Leachman and Madeline Kahn in Young Frankenstein to Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosting the Golden Globes.