TV’s Amanda slams ‘archaic’ treatment of women

The actress, who turns 65 today, is currently at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe co-directing a collection of short plays. She has appeared in a host of popular TV shows over the years, such as The Good Karma Hospital and At Home With The Braithwaites, but admits there were times she thought she would never work again. Amanda said: “As an actor, what you bring is your experience of life. You’ve lived and all the experiences that you’ve had in life inform the characters you play.

“And what’s wrong, I feel, is that my male peers don’t have the same issues. They carry on.

“It’s an archaic way of looking at females. And, again, the demographic of people watching TV, for instance, actually, is women over the age of 50.

“And I am sure they would like to see themselves represented because when you watch something, you go, ‘Oh, I can really relate to that character.’ Well, you’re not going to relate to a teenager, you’re going to relate to somebody who’s near your age. And so it seems to me to be very short-sighted.

“And it makes my blood boil. It’s so wrong. And I know it’s something where many of us, many of my contemporaries, feel the same way as I do.

“I get letters and things from women saying exactly that. That the under-representation of women of this age really does make women feel like they aren’t important anymore, that their issues aren’t important and that – from a mental health perspective – is very damaging.”

On her birthday, she added: “I don’t like birthdays. Not anymore. So I’m going to be in the theatre doing technical rehearsals until God knows what time.

“We’ll have a drink, I’m sure. But the following day we open, so I’ve got to keep my wits about me.”

Amanda Redman and David Threlfall are co-directing a collection of short plays from Michael Frayn’s The Sneeze at this year’s Edinburgh Festival. The Sneeze runs from August 13 to 28 at the Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose Doonstairs.

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