Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Black theatre in Britain

In The Guardian Bonnie Greer assesses the state of black theatre in Britain.
Today's theatre houses several outstanding, award-winning young black playwrights, such as Roy Williams, Kwame Kwei-Armah and Debbie Tucker-Green. But two decades since I was first inspired by British theatre, the black presence is little more than marginal. In the late 1980s I would have predicted, based on the promise clearly apparent then, that the 21st century would have produced a handful of major, mature black playwrights, nurtured and supported through commissions and productions - just as the late August Wilson was in the US and, say, David Hare has been in this country. I would have expected to see black actors - particularly women - regularly appearing in leading roles. Black directors, costume and scenic designers, producers and an artistic director or two should all now be part of the level playing field that should be a characteristic of this, the best theatre in the world.

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