Company star Rosalie Craig has said that female-led musicals should not be seen as radical.
Craig – who stars in the gender-flipped Stephen Sondheim production – said it was an example to others proving people wanted to see female-dominated pieces put on at commercial theatres.
The piece is nominated for best musical revival and best set design at the Olivier Awards, with stars including Patti LuPone, Jonathan Bailey and Richard Fleeshman also nominated.
Speaking at a lunch organised to celebrate this year’s nominees on Friday, the actress, 37, said: “Change is never quick enough.
“These things are gradual and they take time to implement but this is a perfect example of people, such as (producer) Chris Harper and Stephen Sondheim, having faith in something like this – and that people want to hear stories about women.
“They want to hear them commercially done. They have an enormous impact and an enormous voice.
“Let this be an example of people embracing that, but not just in a subsidised venue but in a commercial capacity as well.
“It shouldn’t be a radical thing. It should be the norm.”
Craig, who has appeared in Spooks, Endeavour and a host of National Theatre productions, said she was certain many people were writing scripts with rounded roles for women.
However, she challenged theatres and director to be brave and take these scripts on.
Speaking on International Women’s Day, she said: “I’m sure people are busy writing but it’s just people have to make them.
“I’m sure there are millions of gifted people out there who have women at the forefront of their minds. It’s just people having the bravery to put them on stage.”
Craig attended the event with co-stars LuPone and Bailey, and producer Chris Harper.
Describing her excitement at discovering Company’s numerous nominations, Craig said: “It’s just another wonderful cherry on this gorgeous cake we are already eating.”