Throughout June 2015, The National Theatre are hosting a series of readings and discussions entitled the Black Plays Series. Oberon are delighted to publish all three of the writers featured: Mojisola Adebayo, Tunde Ikoli and Michael Abbensetts. In this informal series, their plays will be read by actors, followed by lively group discussion led by Natasha Bonnelame (previously the Black Plays Archive Project Manager).
Muhammad Ali and Me is a lyrical coming-of-age story, following the parallel struggles of a gay child growing up in foster care and the black Muslim boxing hero’s fight against racism and the Vietnam war.
Mojisola Adebayo is a British-born, Nigerian/Danish performer, playwright, director, producer, workshop leader and teacher. Her work is concerned with power, identity, personal and social change. Mojisola teaches in the department of Theatre and Performance at Goldsmiths, University of London. She teaches on the BA in American Theatre Arts at Rose Bruford College and is studying for her PhD at Queen Mary University of London.
This event will be held on Sat 13th June
Scrape off the Black is set in London’s East End in 1973. Trevor organises a surprise party on the release of his brother Andy from Borstal. But Rose, his bingo-playing, pill-popping mother, has other plans.
Tunde Ikoli was born in London’s East End to a Cornish mother and Nigerian father. After leaving school at 15, he spent two years as a trainee tailor’s cutter, before writing and co-directingTunde’s Film, shown at the London, Edinburgh, Mannheim and San Francisco film festivals. Since 1977 Ikoli’s plays have been produced at a number of theatres including the Bush Theatre, Riverside Studios, Theatre Royal Stratford East, and the Tricycle Theatre.
This event will be held on Sat 20th June
Alterations is a comedy set in a tailor’s shop, inspired by a real visit to a small room off Carnaby Street where two black tailors had set up shop with just two sewing machines and an ironing board. Performed in London, New Jersey and California, it offers a lively version of black entrepreneurship.
Michael Abbensetts was born in Guyana, moved to London in 1963, and began his career writing short stores. Inspired after seeing a performance of John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger, he turned to playwriting and his first play Sweet Talk premiered at the Royal Court in 1973, receiving the George Devine Award.
This event will be held on Sat 27th June
To find out more information about these events, and buy tickets, visit the National Theatre’s website.
To look at these titles in more detail, click the images above to be taken to the Oberon Books website.