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Staging New Britain

Aspects of Black and South Asian British Theatre Practice


Geoffrey V. Davis and Anne Fuchs

Theatre in Britain today is composed of many strands ranging from the postmodern, in-yer-face, musical and dance theatre forms or performance art and media work to the contemporary productions of classical playwrights. In the aftermath of Empire or, as it is often termed, the «post-colonial» world, British theatre in all these forms has also developed through the rich and vibrant contribution of those who, from necessity or choice, have come to Britain as migrants, and of their children of the second and third generations.
This book is primarily concerned with giving a voice to some of these Black and South Asian theatre practitioners who tell their own stories while at the same time they, and others, describe the conditions in which they work. The editors have been careful to encourage the expression of different viewpoints. Indeed varying interpretations of such terms as «multicultural», «gender-based» or even «Black» and «British» can be found. The result is an extraordinarily diverse picture of today’s Black and South Asian British theatre practitioners but also of their companies and their relations with traditional institutions.
Contents: Geoffrey V. Davis: Introduction. Staging New Britain – Caryl Phillips: I Could Have Been a Playwright – Michael McMillan: Rebaptizing the World in Our Own Terms. Black Theatre and Live Arts in Britain – Christiane Schlote: Either for Tragedy, Comedy, History or Musical Unlimited. South Asian Women Playwrights in Britain – Yvonne Brewster: Talawa Theatre Company 1985-2002 – Brian Crow: Issues in Multicultural Theatre. Birmingham Rep and Its Audiences – Anne Fuchs: Looking at New British Heritage. Tamasha Theatre Company – Vayu Naidu: Vayu Naidu Company’s South. New Directions in Theatre of Storytelling – Suhail Khan: Modern Dynamics of First and Second Generation Performance Artists – Aleks Sierz: «Two Worlds Fighting Each Other.» Roy Williams and Contemporary Black British Theatre – Bénédicte Ledent: Caryl Phillips’s Drama. A Blueprint for a New Britishness? – Anne Fuchs: «I’m a Very Northern, Mixed-race Woman.» An Interview with SuAndi – Geoffrey Davis/Anne Fuchs: «We Have to Set our Stall out Artistically.» An Interview with Felix Cross – Geoffrey Davis: «This Is a Cultural Renaissance.» An Interview with Kwame Kwei-Armah – Geoffrey Davis/Anne Fuchs: «A Multiplicity of Voices.» An Interview with John McGrath – Geoffrey Davis: «Me - I’m a Black British Londoner.» An Interview with Courttia Newland – Anne Fuchs: «Bringing People Together.» An Interview with Jan Ryan – Geoffrey Davis: «Once You Open Doors, You Have to Walk Through Them.» An Interview with Kully Thiarai – Christiane Schlote: «Finding our Own Voice.» An Interview with Jatinder Verma.