Multi-ethnic, Indigenous, and Intertextual Dialogues in Drama
Edited By Dorothy Figueira and Marc Maufort
Geoffrey V. Davis “Uncomfortable Truths about Contemporary Britain”: Black and South Asian Theatre in the U.K. 25
“Uncomfortable Truths about Contemporary Britain”: Black and South Asian Theatre in the U.K. Geoffrey V. DAVIS Aachen University You don’t want to come out of the theatre thinking, “Oh, that was all right, I suppose.” If the audience comes out and they’re weeping, or they’re freaked or shocked, then I’ve done my job. That’s what good theatre should always do – move you. (Tanika Gupta, qtd. in Roberts Evening Standard 7 August 2007) In a recent interview Kwame Kwei-Armah forthrightly describes the present time in the history of Black British culture as a Renaissance which will come to equal that of the Harlem Renaissance. He speaks of the rewards and the recognition currently being accorded Black artists who, in his estimation, are now producing work of the highest standard (Kwei-Armah “This Is a Cultural Renaissance” 246). The evidence for this appraisal is not far to seek and not only in fiction and film, where in recent years Black and South Asian artists have come to the fore. In the world of the theatre, too, their presence has become ubiquitous and is increasingly visible of late at the country’s major theatrical institutions. Kwame Kwei-Armah’s own plays Elmina’s Kitchen and Fix Up have enjoyed productions at the National Theatre in London; the former went on to play the Garrick Theatre and has thus been hailed as the first Black play to be staged in the West End for thirty years. Roy Williams’s play Sing Yer Heart out for the Lads has similarly been...
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