Black Theatre Live’s Hamlet being Live Streamed – 27 October

hamlet-4-cr-tristram-kenton1-700x455 On Thursday 27 October from 7.15pm Black Theatre Live’s Hamlet will be live streamed including live interviews and post show interactive Q&A over the internet from Tara Theatre, run in partnership with Pilot Theatre company.

This fast-paced, all-Black, contemporary version of Hamlet has appeal across a range of general, academic, and professional markets: audiences young and old, those studying English and Drama at school, those recently introduced to Hamlet through popular TV adaptations and classic drama audiences.

Aurora Metro have published the playtext which includes Mark Norfolk’s adaptation, interview with Mark and director Jeffery Kissoon and a preface by Dr David Linton.


An Evening Celebrating the Silent Film Pioneer Nell Shipman – 19 October

MSS 081 220.tifOur friends at the Kennington Bioscope in conjunction with Worthing WOW are presenting An Evening Celebrating the Silent Film Pioneer Nell Shipman.

A double-screening of a documentary about Nell Shipman followed by one of her films is being held at the super Cinema Museum in Kennington on 19 October, 7.30
£4 (£3 of which goes to the Cinema Museum). Must book.

Girl From God’s Country (2014)
A documentary by Karen about silent film writer, director, and star, Nell Shipman. In 1922 she came to Idaho’s Priest Lake from Hollywood with her 10-year-old son, her ill-fated lover-producer, a future Academy Award-winning cinematographer (Joseph Walker) and a personal zoo of 70 animal actors that included bobcats, bears, elk, eagles, deer and sled dogs. She was the first of her kind! The documentary includes rare footage of these artists, including minority filmmakers, Zora Neale Hurston and Miriam Wong. Geena Davis and female directors discuss gender-inequities Nell and her counterparts faced that perpetuate in today’s film industry.

Director Karen Day explains her journey to discover more about Nell Shipman and the creation of the documentary in our book Silent Women: Pioneers of Cinema

Followed by …

Back-to-Gods-Country-399x488Back To God’s Country (1919)
Directed by David Hartford with Nell Shipman, Charles Arling and Wheeler Oakman.
A woman finds herself all alone in a remote harbour with the man responsible for the murder of her father. With seemingly nobody around to protect her, she has to be resourceful.

We’ll be selling copies of Silent Women: Pioneers of Cinema at a special price of £12 (cash only)

Black Theatre Live’s Hamlet on tour ’til 5 November

One month left to catch Black Theatre Live’s Hamlet as the tour continues:


Fri 7 & Sat 8 October – THEATRE ROYAL MARGATE Addington Street, Margate, CT9 1PW. Box Office: 01843 292 795

Mon 10 – Sat 15 October – THEATRE ROYAL WINDSOR 32 Thames Street, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1PS. Box Office: 01753 853 888

Thurs 20 – Sat 22 October – LIGHTHOUSE 21 Kingland Road, Poole, Dorset, BH15 1UG. Box Office: 01202 280 000

Tues 25 – Sat 29 October – TARA THEATRE 356 Garratt Lane, Earlsfield, London SW18 4ES. Box Office: 020 8333 4457

Wed 2 – Sat 5 November – STRATFORD CIRCUS ARTS CENTRE Theatre Square, Stratford, London, E15 1BX. Box Office: 020 8279 1080

If you can’t get to see Hamlet live it is being web-screened on 25 October.

And of course, we have published the playtext which features interviews with the director and screenwriter. More information here!

★★★ The Times, Sam Marlowe “it seethes with ideas…. all provocative and intriguing…. it has a gristly intensity and it’s performed with intelligence and fervour. In the title role, Raphael Sowole combines toughness with tenderness. He’s a beefy, tart-tongued, furious prince whose volatile presence carries a real physical threat; when Abiona Omonua’s sweet, sassy Ophelia is on her knees at her prayers, he lurks behind her, sharpening his dagger….. There are some arrestingly potent moments: Miller’s Claudius submitting to a penitential flogging; the Player King slumped in a wheelchair sucking from a hip flask…. it’s fresh and fiercely committed.”

Britain’s first all black Hamlet featured on BBC News 

David Chadwick speaking as part of Black History Month – 6 October

Author David Chadwick will be discussing his novel Liberty Bazaar at the Bolton Socialist Club on Thursday 6 October, 8pm.david-chadwick

This is a Free Event as part of Black History Month.

Liberty Bazaar is David’s debut novel which was awarded a prestigious Kirkus Blue Star. The novel is set in Liverpool in 1863 at the height of the American Civil War and the cotton famine in the north of England, and is a powerful story of courage, betrayal and love, told in the compelling voices of an escaped slave girl and a Confederate general.

‘Chadwick’s prose paints his shuffling urban milieu with a nose for detail, inhaling the rich tang of docklands crowds, the sweeping egalitarianism of street life forming a tragic backbone for the limitations of the rich. What really stands out, however, is the twin narrative, muddying the heroic waters yet acknowledging their existence in a time of violent opposition. It amounts to a revealing look at vested interests, and the fact that Britain has more blood on its hands than it would care to admit.’ Joshua Potts, The Skinny


Launch of our Southeast Asian Plays collection – 29 September

SE ASIAN PLAYS  front  AUG 16 An Evening At the Opera by Floy QuintosThe first ever collection of Southeast Asian Plays will have its launch at the National Gallery of Singapore on 29 September, 7.30pm. Some of the playwrights will be at the event and there will be staged readings from students at LASALLE College of the Arts in association with the Select Centre.

Southeast Asian Plays is edited by Aubrey Mellor and Cheryl Robson, and is a unique collection of plays by eight playwrights, both new and established, from countries in Southeast Asia including Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and Cambodia. Covering topics as diverse as the global financial crisis, religious faith, the sex trade, corruption and exploitation, these plays provide insight into the differing concerns of those living in a part of the world which is experiencing profound change.

The is a FREE event DO BOOK.Nadirah by Alfian Sa’at

In his introduction Aubrey Mellor writes:

This volume is a snapshot of the rich variety of performance work that in many cases is only beginning to be written down. Though now in English, there is little in common in these eight plays from seven very different nations in a region connected mainly by geography. Until the founding of ASEAN, in 1967, Southeast Asia (SEA) was known to the world as the East Indies. Covering 11 nations and 626 million inhabitants, over more than 4.4 million square kilometres, the southeast of the continent plunges into the sea, diversifying into many thousands of islands and languages as it reaches into the Pacific. One of the largest and fastest-growing economies of the world, with a combined annual turnover of 2.8 trillion US dollars, it contains arguably the richest variety of arts, customs, cuisines and landscapes – and distinctively defined peoples. However, this part of the world is under-represented, especially in theatre and dramatic writing, and its vivid diversity deserves to be known beyond its splendid beaches and tourist spots. In collecting a first volume of Southeast Asian playscripts we prioritised material that other countries (including SEA) might be interested in performing, with an aim to introduce not only the writers but also the cultures that produced them.

Publication is not a necessary goal in the performing arts, and theatre scripts are merely blueprints for productions, especially in this region. As elsewhere, second productions and revivals are rare, so publication becomes important to preserving some of this ephemeral art form and to allowing play texts to find a wider international readership. Though some of these works were written and performed in English, a play’s origins are of course defined by language, e.g. a Vietnamese play is written in Vietnamese etc. Consequently the huge majority of new dramatic literature in this flourishing region remains unknown outside of language borders; even within countries plays are not readily circulated, as they are not commonly published in their original (often local) language, and are further neglected in translation. The development of skilled literary translators in the region is happening slowly, but the focus is primarily on poetry and fiction.

It is exciting to discover the other forms of play-making that exist in this region… it is no accident that this collection includes many plays by women, and this is a sign of the equity that has emerged as a feature of these ancient- yet-young nations. Nations that are growing in pride, in industry, investment and in tourism, in innovation and in cultural originality.


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