Persistent & Nasty

Persistent and Nasty is a script-reading, debate and art as activism initiative for the female-identified voice in stage and screen. Although the core principle behind Persistent and Nasty is about the female-identified voice, 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 and accompanying digital content, we are creating a platform for the unrepresented voices in the stage and screen industry; women, minorities, trans and LGBTQIA+.

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.

“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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For the third Persistent and Nasty rehearsed reading we will be exploring themes and topics around the gender spectrum and queer culture.


We are delighted to finally announce the writer whose work we will be reading and showcasing at our next live event; Persistent and Nasty: Gender Spectrum & Queer Culture, 7pm on June 28th at the CCA Glasgow.

With roots in Johannesburg, Rosanna Scott is an Edinburgh based screenwriter with great talent. Her script “Kings” is a screenplay; a six part mini-series designed for television. We will be reading the first part of this intriguing, funny and unique family drama.

Kings – Episode 1: “King Douglas”
Fiona travels with her twins to Loch Lomond to care for her ailing father, but when she discovers his doctor is a handsome drag king, she is forced to face some personal struggles.

WHY THIS STORY? As popular media turns its
attention to trans characters like Sophia Burset
(Laverne Cox) in Orange is the New Black, an
appetite has developed for these narratives. The
expectation is that the LGBTI community will be
represented, and authentically so. While the US
has engaged in discussion around trans and
gender non-binary folk with shows like
Transparent, the UK is yet to contribute. Kings is
a unique angle of attack, illuminating the culture
of Scotland’s queer community.

Book your tickets here.

Casting call

We’re now casting for the script reading taking place at our next live event on Thursday 28th June at 7pm at the CCA in Glasgow.

Persistent and Nasty are seeking performers for the following roles:

ANDY – Non-Caucasian / BAME / Trans or Non-Binary. Playing age: 30 – 40 years.

FIONA – Female-Identified / Scottish / Any Ethnicity / Playing age: 35 – 45 years.

STUART – Male-Identified / Scottish / Caucasian / Playing age: 60 – 70 years.

OLLIE – Any Ethnicity / Trans, non-binary or gender-queer / Playing age: 25 – 35 years

HELEN – Female-Identified / Scottish / Any Ethnicity / Playing Age: 20 – 30 years / Sister to Leah

LEAH – Female-Identified / Scottish / Any Ethnicity / Playing Age: 20 – 30 years / Sister to Helen

ANTHONY – Male-Identified / Scottish / Caucasian / Playing Age: 25 – 35 years

MATT  / GARON / GILLIAN / CAFE OWNER / SAILING SHOP OWNER / 2 x POLICE OFFICERS – We will double up the casting of these smaller roles with the core performers listed above.

The reading will take place at our next event Persistent and Nasty: Gender Spectrum and Queer Culture at the CCA Glasgow on Thursday 28th June.

The time commitment involves a brief rehearsal on the day of the reading (5-6.30pm) then the live reading itself (scripts in hand) from 7pm. This is an unfunded, non-profit project so unfortunately this is an unpaid opportunity.

However, we are able to cover travel expenses (within reason) and buy you a drink. If you are interested please email

Guest speakers on 28th June

Lesley Hart was awarded Playwrights’ Studio Scotland’s New Playwrights Award in 2011. Her first stage play, 3 Seconds premiered at Òran Mór and the Traverse Theatre in February 2013, directed by Hamish Pirie. This was followed by Saint One which premiered at Òran Mór, and The Lemon Tree in October 2013, directed by Andy Gray and starring Elaine C Smith. Other stage plays include Flame Proof (Òran Mór/Traverse/Aberdeen Performing Arts), The Fundraiser (Horsecross Arts), La Clé  (Tron/Playwrights Studio, Scotland – Talkfest rehearsed reading). Lesley was also a daily writer on News Just In for Random Accomplice/The Arches in 2014. Her first play for radio, Personal Best, was broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland in June 2010. Recent projects under commission/development have included a new play for Birds of Paradise and Òran Mór, a sitcom for TV, a novel adaptation, and an epic quest play. Lesley is also an actor who has worked extensively in theatre, film, television and radio drama.

Nelly Kelly is a gender-queer playwright, dramaturg, theatre maker and researcher. Their work predominantly centres round queer resistance, looking at ways in which dystopic/utopic ideas can help deconstruct and interrogate our perception of societal norms. Nelly is currently working on a piece called ‘Sacramental’ which will be presented in collaboration  with London/Marrakesh based group Mint Works at their guest project ‘Ghost’ in Sunbury house 15th October to 11th of November 2018.

Nelly has worked as a writer/dramaturg on projects including; Take me Somewhere Symposium (Glasgow University), Red Women’s Theatre Awards (Greenwich Theatre, London), Sons/Daughters (Cumbernauld Theatre in collaboration with Performing Arts Studio Scotland), Sharing Stages (Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh) and has had short pieces of work presented through various events at The Tron, The Traverse, CCA and the James Arnott Theatre.


Previous events

March event

When? Thursday 28th March @ 7pm
Where? Centre for Contemporary Art, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow

Industry guests: Mariem Omari of Bijli Productions and director/filmmaker Raisah Ahmed.

Script read live stream:
“Names & Labels” by Ria Dhillon

The reading of Names & Labels was directed by Emilie Patry and was performed by the following cast: Lubna Kerr, Mandy Bhari, Shyvonne Ahmmad and Louise Oliver.

Panel discussion live stream: 
Mariem Omari & Raisah Ahmed

January event

When? Tuesday 30 January 2018 @ 7pm
Where? The Old Hairdressers, 27 Renfield Lane, Glasgow

Industry guests: Sandy Thomson of Poorboy Theatre Company and  Sara Shaarawi of The Workers Theatre

Script read live stream:
“Culture Club” by Dr Zara Gladman & Dr Laura McNamara

The reading of Culture Club was directed by Belle Jones and was performed by the following cast Elaine Stirrat, Louise Oliver, Cameron Fulton, Fergus John McCann, Chris Alexander, Atta Yaqub, Lucy Hutchison and Ben Allison.

Panel discussion live stream:
Sandy Thomson & Sara Shaarawi

How the events work

The format of the evening is in two parts. First there’ll be a rehearsed reading of a piece of writing for theatre or film by a female-identified writer.

This will be followed by an open forum discussion with an invited industry guest, addressing any issues the work points to and that affect women on a cross-industry level. Audience members will be encouraged to take place in this debate.

Our goal is to create an event that is safe and supportive, but that is also an act of protest. We’ve reached a tipping point in our culture where misogyny and the silencing of marginalised voices will no longer be tolerated.

The event will be recorded for an accompanying podcast that will serve as documentation of our thoughts, ideas and grievances. We intend to be heard.

“Representation of the world, like the world itself, is the work of men; they describe it from their own point of view, which they confuse with absolute truth.” Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex

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

Emilie Patry 


Emilie trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama and at the Studio 34 in Paris. She is the recipient of Best Female Performance in a Supporting Role for her performance in The Christians (Gate Theatre, London) at the 2016 Off West End Theatre Awards. Theatre credits include Image of An Unknown Young Woman and The Christians (Gate Theatre, London), The Gamblers (Greyscale, UK tour), Iron (Unsub-Gerry Lynch), Macbeth, Twelfth Night and  Henry V (Bard in the Botanics), A Beginning, Middle and an End (Traverse/ Tron/ Hull Truck), Stars in the Morning Sky (Riverside Studios), Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down (Arcola), Macbeth (New Wimbledon Theatre), Les Isles Kerguelen (Théatre De La Tempête, Paris), and Bastringue (L’Etoile du Nord, Paris). TV credits include; Casualty 1907 (BBC), Behind Closed Doors (BBC Scotland), The Advocates (STV), and Gayle Tuesday: The Comeback (Living TV).

Belle Jones

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Belle Jones trained as an actor at the RSAMD where she won the Percival Steeds Prize for Spoken Word and the Norah Cooper Mulligan Award for Verse Speaking. Performance credits include: The Man Who Followed His Legs and Kept on Walking (Wee Stories), Dark Road (Royal Lyceum Edinburgh), REaD (Tidy Carnage), Red Riding Hood, Aladdin and Cinderella (Plutot la Vie), The Night Before Christmas (Cumbernauld Theatre), James and the Giant Peach (Citizen’s Theatre), Outlander (StarzTV), Rebus (STV), May There Always Be Sunshine and 44 Scotland Street (BBC Radio 4). Belle has contributed to R&D with companies including Magnetic North and Catherine Wheels. She has featured in advertisements for the Scottish Children’s Lottery and HSBC. Her play Shame ran as part of the Assembly’s curated programme at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2017 and was shortlisted for the Scottish Arts Club Award. Belle was a mentored playwright with the Playwrights’ Studio Scotland in 2015 and shortlisted for the Tron’s Progressive Playwright Award in 2016. In 2017 she was commissioned by TYCI to write a piece for Declaration Festival and also by Dr Marisa De Andrade of the University of Edinburgh to write a piece for the Measuring Humanity project. Belle is working with musicians Audrey Tait and Lauren Gilmour on anew musical storytelling theatrical work, Closed Doors, which was showcased at Flint and Pitch at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in 2017. Her first short screenplay The Lady Vagrant, is being produced by Spritelite films this November. Find out more at

Elaine Stirrat

elaine stirrat head shot

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.

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