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Playing for Life






Where the stage of the mainstream considers the romantic, tragic, adventurous and classic, Black theatre puts all of its energy into its own stories.

Romance and comedy alongside all other emotions do play a part, but the essential element of many contemporary scripts is truth in the telling of the diasporic story.

The ignorance towards Black playwrights is that there are only a few considered as classics outside of the continent of Africa. Alongside acclaimed African-American such as Lorraine Hansbury in addition to those where the subject not the write is Black, “To Kill a Mockingbird”.

Now with a rush that is almost manic in its intent the UK has a wealth of Black Playwrights all with a determination to tell their (our) story.

The observer (audience) would be wrong in thinking that we are seeking to establish our identity in the west. In truth, we are exploring the diversity of our being here, the history of our lives, the obstacles we face as a minority people, the pleasures and the heartaches in our lives.

The playwright challenges history to marginalise or totally exclude the Black experience from contemporary life so that our stories are no longer viewed as victims of a system as we challenge the stereotype and reveal in self-expression.



SuAndi is of Nigerian and British heritage and has been a Performance Poet since 1985. Her collections of poems include Style (Purple Heather & Pankhurst Press,1990) Nearly Forty (Spike Books, 1994), There will be no Tears (Pankhurst Press, 1996) In the nineties she turned some of her attention to the Live Art stage. She tours nationally and internationally and her last ICA commission The Story of M received critical acclaim in the UK and North America. Her work was recognised with an O.B.E. in the Queen's 1999 New Year Honours List following her Winston Churchill Fellowship in 1996. She has also written two librettos; Mary Seacole Opera (2000) which toured Britain after a West End opening and Streets of London - Stephen Lawrence Story (2002).


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