Tuesday, 28 October 2014

New Black Showcase To Shine A Spotlight On Young Writing Talent At The Belgrade Theatre

Newly emerging voices from Black and Ethnic minority communities are being celebrated this November as part of the Belgrade Theatre’s fourth annual New Black Showcase running from Thurs 6 – Sat 8 Nov in the B2 auditorium. 
Co-ordinated by the Belgrade’s Community and Education Company, New Black Showcase offers a unique platform for the voices and stories of emerging young writers from Black and Ethnic Communities across the UK.
Developed as part of the theatre’s nationally recognized BME writers programme, Critical Mass – which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year - New Black Showcase will offer young BME writers aged 18 and over with the opportunity to have their work performed at the theatre by a company of professional actors.
This year’s showcase will incorporate readings of two plays produced as part of the 2013 Critical Mass programme, each focusing on the female experience, Theresa Ikoko’s Visiting Hours and Liz Mytton’s Red Mullet.
Visiting Hours by Theresa Ikoko opens a door to the lives of mothers and daughters coming into contact with the justice system, and offers a fresh new perspective on those experiences.
Red Mullet by Liz Mytton is a humorous and moving story about the wives of high-flying men in a country on the verge of independence. Duty bound to support their husband’s political agendas, friendships soon come under strain and they find themselves forced to face life changing consequences.
Claire Simpson, General Manager for Community & Education said: For the last few years, the theatre has been working hard to build links with local BME groups through initiatives such as Critical Mass, Black Youth Theatre and our newly launched Asian Youth Theatre. It’s our belief that the voices of marginalized communities are best heard when given a platform through high quality productions and projects. Our 2013 Critical Mass programme attracted applications from 45 aspiring young writers, with 13 of those going on to achieve a place on the programme. By giving writers like Theresa and Liz the opportunity to see their work performed on a professional stage by a company of professional actors, we hope to provide a platform for emerging artists, helping them to develop successful careers within the arts and other industries’.
The Belgrade Theatre has a strong commitment to representing the diversity of the city’s communities. In December 2010, the Belgrade theatre was commended at the National Awards for Bridging Cultures for its work in encouraging intercultural dialogue. Previous work within this field has included Hussan and Harry (2005), a project about experiences of warfare with a group of young asylum seekers and the Senior Youth Theatre; The First Time I Saw Snow (2008), a TiE tour about new incoming communities and the critically-acclaimed In Our Own Words community festivals in 2009 and 2010 inspired by stories from both the Bible and the Qur’an, and the 2010 festival based on true stories of immigration to the city.
Visiting Hours runs on Thurs 6 & Sat 8 Nov at 7pm in B2. Red Mullet runs on Fri 7 Nov at 7pm & Sat 8 Nov, 3pm in B2. This event operates a ‘Donate What You Want’ pricing policy. All donations received during the production run will be re-invested in the work of the Community & Education Company.

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