Derry Girls actress slams theatre critic for comments on her weight
Derry Girls actress Nicola Coughlan has called out a theatre critic for referring to her weight in two separate reviews.
Nicola (31), who is originally from Galway, plays Clare in the hit Channel 4 comedy which wrapped its first series in February.
She is currently starring in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie at Donmar Warehouse and previously appeared on stage in Jess and Joe Forever at the Orange Tree Theatre.
Both shows were reviewed by Philip Fisher for the British Theatre Guide, an independent website featuring reviews, news and podcasts.
In both reviews he made reference to Nicola's weight and she shared the excerpts with her 19,000 followers on Twitter.
Hi @BritTheatreGuid, for the second time your reviewer Philip Fisher has come to see a show I’m in, and as part of reviewing the show he has also reviewed my body.— Nicola Coughlan (@nicolacoughlan) June 14, 2018
How can you continue to support this? pic.twitter.com/Rtd7mVBmSA
I was in a show called Jess and Joe Forever @traversetheatre last August which he came to see and his opening sentence was “Jess is a fat girl”— Nicola Coughlan (@nicolacoughlan) June 14, 2018
My weight has no relevance to either the performance I gave in that or in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
Nicola also took issue with his description of a rape scene from another play, before saying she would review his body even though it has "no relevance" to his job, and stating that he was not welcome to review any of her work in future.
Just so you know @BritTheatreGuid I am so disappointed you let a man like this review for you.— Nicola Coughlan (@nicolacoughlan) June 14, 2018
Let me state this clearly, he is not welcome to review any show I am in from now till forever. And I plan to be in a lot of damn shows.
Derry Girls writer Lisa McGee retweeted Nicola's first tweet, with the caption, "This is not acceptable".
Another London theatre reviewer suggested Fisher is "referring to a character in the play and the cruel jibes she receives, not maligning the actor".
However, Nicola added, "There’s no reference to the characters weight at any point in the script, this was targeted to me, and not for the first time."
Following Nicola's comments, the British Theatre Guide responded on Twitter:
Nicola, we apologise unreservedly for the offence caused by the wording of this review. The offending words have been removed. While the reviewer may not have intended to offend, he accepts that it is not acceptable to use such descriptions in a review and not BTG policy.— British TheatreGuide (@BritTheatreGuid) June 14, 2018
I would call this a bit of a tepid apology but I will accept if going forward you realise why it was so offensive and never review another woman’s body’s again.— Nicola Coughlan (@nicolacoughlan) June 15, 2018
Also this is the second time Philip Fisher has done this to me, I’ll take it that this is a belated apology for both. https://t.co/tancAd1sdb
Also @BritTheatreGuid if you really want to do better in the future, please look at hiring some women on your editorial staff— Nicola Coughlan (@nicolacoughlan) June 15, 2018
They are the people who can tell you how you’ve managed to get it so badly wrong pic.twitter.com/t6RSn9Jfm8