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.


Our next script reading and discussion event is on the 25th June 2019 at the CCA Glasgow. We will be joined by playwright / actress Morna Young. 

For the next writers submission window we are looking for scripts that explore / respond to the phrase what does it mean to be human. Writers are invited to interpret this however they wish. We want to hear from women, BAME women, trans women and gender minorities. Although we are accepting submissions from across the UK, we are particularly keen to hear from writers based in Scotland.


  • 15-30 minutes in length (approximately 20-30 pages).
  • The script can be written for theatre, film, TV or radio.
  • Priority will be given to scripts that explore themes of gender equality, diversity and representation.
  • Priority will be given to scripts that have more than one female character.
  • Casting will be age, ethnicity and disability blind.
  • If the submitted script is an excerpt from a longer piece, the excerpt should be able to stand alone and be understood.
  • Please use as close to industry standard formatting as possible. Minimum requirement is 12pt font size, double line spacing and page numbers.
  • Alongside the script itself, please provide the following:
  • a brief synopsis
  • character descriptions
  • a few words on what inspired you to write this particular piece
  • a short biography


“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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Previous events

August event

When? Wednesday 15th August @ 1.30pm
Where? Fringe Central, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Industry guests: Orla O’Loughlin, Jo Clifford, Stef Smith and Victoria Falconer-Pritchard

June event

When? Thursday 28th June @ 7pm
Where? Tron Theatre, Glasgow.

Industry guests: Nelly Kelly and Heloise Thual

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

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.
Misha McCullagh

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