Black Lives, Black Words.

Posted: November 3, 2015 in Uncategorized

The Bush Theatre, with much thanks to Artistic Director, Madani Younis, was host to a powerful display of Black British talent, brought together by producers Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway and Reginald Edmund.


Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway first read through: Black Lives, Black Words




Reginald Edmund & Simeilia open the evening of plays


On 27 October 2015, ten of the most exciting Black playwrights and Black directors showcased their work for Black Lives, Black Words.

Black Lives Black Words

The plays were empowering, diverse, unapologetic, forceful, dramatic, poignant, highly entertaining and thought provoking. And all directed by Artistic Directors of the Future (ADF) directors.

Father’s Day: Written by Max K, Directed by Roy Alexander Weise, explored the scourge of race hate crime and a siblings fight for justice.


Frances Ashman plays Urma in ‘Father’s Day’



Kwame Bentil in rehearsals, plays Philip in ‘Father’s Day’

Black Attack: Written by Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu, Directed by Tessa Hart, saw the stage explode with a futuristic dystopian, post-apocalyptic nightmare.


Cast members from ‘Black Attack’ at first read through

Stripped Black: Written by Firdos Ali, Directed by Rae McKen, took us into the lives of a family impacted by the refugee crisis.

Left Hanging: Written by Trish Cooke, Directed by: Milli Bhatia, sensitively explored deaths in police custody, told through the words of a grieving mother.


Trish Cooke and leading actor from ‘Left Hanging’ at first read through

Thanks For Coming: Written by Theresa Ikoko, Directed by Nicole Charles, depicted the painful journey of a young Black actress, driven to suicide by artistic rejection.


Lead actor from Theresa Ikoko’s ‘Thanks for Coming’, at first read through

View of Her Own: Written by Isaac Ssebandeke, Directed by Sandra Thompson-Quartey, explored the ‘vexed’ question of Black hair and notions of beauty.

Patience: Written by Oladipo Agboluaje, Directed by Erica Miller, eloquently opened a window on Black love, dating and relationships.

Here They Come: Written by Gbolahan Obisesan, Directed by Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambaksh, shone a spotlight on the plight of refugees, through the medium of a ‘Question Time-esque’ debate.

The stories were vividly brought to life by a stella cast of actors including Martina LairdFrances Ashman,  Kwame Bentil,  Rochelle Rose,  Arinda Sadhra , Stanley A. Jackson and Abdoulie Mboob, to name but a very few.

And by Assistant Producers, Elizabeth Alabi, April Brown and Gael Le Cornec; with casting director Cheryl Walker.

Powerful plays by Somalia Seaton and Mojisola Adebayo will be presented at a later date.

On Stage2

The play series is tied in with a shared project initiated by the award -winning American playwright Reginald Edmund, who produced the USA premiere at the Greenhouse Theatre in Chicago in July 2015. Black Lives, Black Words aims to explore the black diaspora experiences in some of the largest multicultural cities in the world, Chicago, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Baltimore and London to investigate the question ‘Do black lives matter today?’

This project will serve as a comparative study to raise awareness of the shared and different transatlantic experiences in the black community and evaluate the impact it has had on the black community at large.

All plays were live streamed on the night, as well as filmed. Plays will be available to watch real soon.

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