New writing talent revealed in New Black Showcase
Our fourth New Black Showcase is now running in the B2 auditorium until Saturday, and sees a company professional actors perform rehearsed readings of two different plays, Visiting Hours by Theresa Ikoko and Red Mullett by Liz Mytton. Both plays focus heavily on the female experience and were developed as part of our Critical Mass programme run by the Belgrade’s Community & Education Company.
Theresa Ikoko said, “For five years I worked mainly in men’s prisons delivering creative arts workshops, to engage, educate and empower the men. In such a male dominant environment I found myself often being the sole voice of women, a sometimes silent/only in my head voice. Visiting Hours was a chance for me to breathe life into the voices of the women in my head, who live the prison sentences with the men they love.”
Liz Mytton also had a strong vision for a female focused play. “When I started to write Red Mullet, I wanted to tell a story that looked at the lives of Jamaican women. Ultimately, the play looks at the experiences of both the women and the men around them, during a time of extreme social and political unrest. However, I really wanted to foreground the stories of the women throughout and use the device of an all-female cast to promote this. I wrote the play envisaging a cast of five, where each actor would play two characters – one female and one male – which I hope keeps the voice of women active and relevant at all times.”
This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the Belgrade’s Critical Mass programme, an 11 week playwriting course open to new writers from Black and Minority Ethnic Communities. Participants then have the opportunity to see their work performed on our B2 stage by a company of professional actors in the New Black Showcase.
The all-female company is made up of Sabrina Barnett-Alexander, Chanelle Shea Calvin, Jade Samuels, Reaya Sealey, Natasha Godfrey and Luca Wetherby. Audiences may recognise Reaya Sealey and Luca Wetherby from Belgrade Unplugged earlier this year. Visit the Images Gallery on the right hand side of the page to see photos of The New Black Showcase. by Paul Blakemore.