The National Theatre is to tackle the “resurgent” issue of gender inequality with a new play created by two rising stars of the theatre world, using controversial hit "Blurred Lines" as its “lightning rod”.
The play, also called Blurred Lines, seeks to highlight that the battle against misogyny "is not won," the director said. The play has a tagline: “We need a revolution. Big or small, quiet or loud, it doesn’t matter.”
Carrie Cracknell, associate director of the Royal Court Theatre, added that Robin Thicke’s much-criticised song was a “useful access point” to exploring the themes which range from tweeting to stripping, breast feeding to online dating.
“It feels like there’s a concentration on what can become casual misogyny that operates systemically around all of us,” she said.
Award-winning playwright Nick Payne - whose work includes Constellations - is scripting the play, which will be staged at The Shed, the National Theatre venue on the South Bank.
The pair had talked for 18 months over developing a piece on feminism and gender equality, inspired by The Equality Illusion: The Truth about Women and Men Today by Kat Banyard.
Ms Cracknell said: “Reading the book was like a veil being lifted. The book is an assessment of contemporary feminism. The thesis is: We think we’re equal, but it’s an illusion and here’s why. It uses statistical analysis.”
They appropriated the title following the furore around Thicke’s song. "Blurred Lines" became a number one hit last summer but its video was criticised for its use of scantily clad models, while one Daily Beast journalist referred to the lyrics as “rapey”.
Ms Cracknell said: “The use of the title from the song was about the fact the song has become a lightning rod for conversation around gender in popular culture, sexism in popular culture, and we’ve seen an explosion around that in the last few months.”
Ms Cracknell, previously artistic director of the Gate, pointed to the Twitter furore that engulfed campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez : “It shines a light on a seething mass of misogyny and hatred all channelled through the anonymity of Twitter.
“While that’s painful for her it could be culturally quite useful as it reminds us that that’s not won.”
Sexist of the year 2013 runners-up
Sexist of the year 2013 runners-up
1/5 David Cameron
The prime minister was runner-up to Robin Thicke for 2013's sexist of the year. Earlier this year, female MP Therese Coffey argued that the leading politician should have anti-sexist training to help boost the pitiful number of women in his cabinet - four. Past sexist controversies have included Cameron telling shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Angela Eagle to 'calm down dear' during a Commons exchange.
2/5 Godfrey Bloom
The ex-UKIP MEP resigned after making a controversial 'joke' describing a women in politics conference meeting as being 'full of sluts'. Bloom is no stranger to outrage, having previously condemned aid to 'bongo bongo land'. There should be a mention of UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who defended Bloom and insisted lines of racism and sexism had not been crossed. Bloom claimed he had used the 'slut' slur as the word was originally intended, to refer to untidy women. Urm...
3/5 Tom Newton-Dunn
Stella Creasy (pictured) was attacked by The Sun's political editor Tom Newton-Dunn after she spoke in Parliament in favour of the No More Page 3 campaign to ban the bare breasts from The Sun. Newton-Dunn sent a tweet reading: 'Boldly, Stella Creasy has just asked the PM to justify Page 3 while wearing a bright blue PVC skirt in the Commons chamber', as if such a skirt-wearing crime made her argument void...
4/5 Robert Colover
Barrister Robert Colover was a contender for this year's sexist title after comments he made during the sentencing of paedophile Neil Wilson at Snaresbrook Crown Court (pictured) in August. He described the 13-year-old victim as sexually 'predatory', claiming she had 'forced' herself onto 41-year-old Wilson. He later agreed to resign from the Crown Prosecution Service.
5/5 George Galloway
Last year's sexist of the year, George Galloway MP was crowned winner of the dubious accolade after saying that having sex with a woman while she was asleep was 'really bad sexual etiquette but whatever else it is, it is not rape' in relation to the Julian Assange case. He won a copy of Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman as a prize.