Persistent and Nasty is a script-reading, debate and art as activism initiative for women and gender minorities in the stage and screen industries. We are committed to an intersectional approach and aim to use the space we’ve created to provide a platform for the spectrum of marginalised voices in our culture.

Through a series of script readings, live debates and a regular podcast series, we aim to amplify the unrepresented voices in theatre and film.

Our goal is to create a project that is safe and supportive, but that is also an act of protest. Persistent and Nasty is about changing the cultural narrative through the stories we tell.


Previous guests on the podcast and at the live events include: Kirsten Vangsness (actress / writer / star of CBS Criminal Minds) Carys Eleri (BAFTA nominated actress / writer / singer) Meghan Tyler (actress / playwright) Hannah Lavery (playwright / poet / performer) Caitlin Skinner (director) Melanie Jordan (performer / theatre-maker)  Sandy Thomson (Artistic Director of Poorboy Theatre) Sara Shaarawi (performer / playwright / founding member of The Workers Theatre) Morna Young (playwright / actress) Shilpa T-Hyland (theatre director) Raisah Ahmed (director / filmmaker) Mariem Omari (co-Artistic Director of Bijli / company-in-residence with the National Theatre of Scotland) Nelly Kelly (queer theatre maker / academic) Héloïse Thual (playwright) Simone Pereira-Hind and Anna Dawson (casting directors) Stef Smith (playwright) Orla O’Loughlin (former Artistic Director of the Traverse Theatre) Jo Clifford (playwright) Jemima Levick (Artistic Director of Stellar Quines Theatre Company) Maureen Beattie (actress / Equity UK) Sarah Rose Graber (theatre maker / director) and Polly Kemp (actress / founder of ERA 50:50). 

“The exchange provided by P&N is electric, reminiscent of the consciousness raising gatherings of the second wave but with a focus on intersectionality that has been sorely missing from so much of the mainstream feminist movement”

Fountain Review

“It’s about the bigger picture, the bigger conversation and how we move forward, not just in our industry but socially, and in our culture”

The Skinny

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Meet the women behind Persistent & Nasty

Louise Oliver 

Louise Oliver Headshot 2016 2Louise is an actor, producer, writer, and arts consultant with over a decade of experience working in theatre and festivals, both in Scotland and internationally. She came up with the Persistent & Nasty concept, and initiated the event series.

Louise trained as an actor at the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts and also has a Masters Degree in Theatre Studies from the University of Glasgow. Theatre credits include Helena (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Thea Elvsted (Hedda Gabler), Angela (Abigail’s Party), Van’s Sister (Dog Sees God), Lindsay (Some Girl(s)), Janet Weiss (Rocky Horror Picture Show), Abigail Williams (The Crucible), Mhairi (Why Do You Always End Up Here), Grace (Girls Will Be Girls), and both of the Macbeths in Macbeth (in different productions, of course).  She is a self-trained jazz singer, has written four plays that were well received in Scotland, and dabbles in stand-up comedy. More recently, Louise has spent a few years (up until 2016) living in New York City, where she worked with NYC companies including The Wooster Group, Theatre Resources Unlimited, Gemini & Scorpio, and The Tank Theatre, before co-founding her own theatre company, The Blockheads Collective. Find out more at

Elaine Stirrat

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Elaine trained at Langside College. After this, she worked with various theatre companies, performing in venues including The Citizens, The Tron, and The Royal Concert Hall. Elaine has also worked in Film and TV. Credits include Taggart, Crimes That Shook The World, and I Saw You, along with other work for the BBC. Elaine has been a core member of the ensemble for critically claimed theatre company Poorboy for five years. Her journey with Poorboy began by working on the Blast Hamlet, performed at the Tron Theatre. Over the last few years Elaine has been part of The Christmas Workshop, the second Blast Hamlet, Macbeth, Doctor Faustus, Measure for Measure, and Taming of The Shrew.  Since working with Poorboy, Elaine has also been the production manager for Pirates and Mermaids when it was at The Edinburgh Festival in 2013. Poorboy has allowed Elaine to further her own writing and has supported development days on her current play. She regularly delivers bespoke training and workshops for children and adults.
Misha McCullagh

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