Bush’s five-star RED PITCH streams globally in May

From 9 to 14 May, the Bush Theatre’s critically-acclaimed story of football, brotherhood and gentrification returns, filmed live at the Bush Theatre and available to stream to your living room.

Watch the trailer here

The way they’re changing endz is nuts.’

Red Pitch. South London. Three lifelong friends Omz, Bilal and Joey are playing football. Like they always have. Living out dreams of football stardom. Beyond their football pitch, local shops are closing, old flats are being demolished as new flats shoot up, some residents struggle to stay while others rush to leave. When a small football pitch has been a home from home, a place where you’ve laughed, fought and forged friendships, what happens when it’s under threat?

★★★★★ “Remarkable. A next-level coming-of-age story.” The Stage

Tyrell Williams’ play tells a powerful story about gentrification versus regeneration and the impact of this relentless change upon London’s communities.

Kedar Williams-Stirling (Sex Education), Emeka Sesay (Top Boy) and Francis Lovehall (Small Axe), star in director Daniel Bailey’s production.

You can book tickets from £10. Shows start at 7.45pm evenings (9-14) and 2.45pm for matinee on Sat 14. Shows on 11 (eve) and 14 (mat) are Audio Described.

Please note that the show is streaming worldwide, so you can watch it from anywhere, just check the start time in your time zone. The performances will begin promptly at 2:45pm or 7:45pm. During the broadcast, the show cannot be paused, but after the performance has finished, the film will be available to you to watch on demand for 48 hours from the date and time selected.

For more information, and to book, please click here

Global Voices Theatre presents Global Jewish Voices.

Discover plays from Algeria, Israel, Canada, Turkey, and the USA in Global Voices Theatre’s upcoming event – Global Jewish Voices!

Global Jewish Voices is an afternoon of excerpt readings of international plays by Jewish playwrights from around the world.

Curated by theatre and performance maker Victor Esses, the selected works are:

The Kahena, Berber Queen by Berthe Bénichou-Aboulker (Algeria), translated from French by Jessica Benhamou
Papa’gina by Hanna Vazana Grunwald (Israel), translated from Hebrew by Sivan Battat
Heartlines by Sarah Waisvisz (Canada)
Extinct by Philip Arditti (Turkey/UK)
A People by L M Feldman (USA)

The in-person event will take place at the Bush Theatre, London on Sunday April 3rd at 2.30pm. It lasts around 2 hours 15 minutes and tickets are just £8/£6.

You can find more information and book tickets here

See Ella Road’s FAIR PLAY online globally until 19 February

Ella Road is the most exciting young playwright I have seen recently, and after the huge success of her THE PHLEBOTOMIST in 2019 and 2020, I am sure that her new play FAIR PLAY – about the underside of women’s athletics – will be worth seeing.

The clocks are set. The line is drawn. They’ve got a chance to be champions. But at what cost? 

When Ann joins Sophie’s running club she’s thrown into a world of regimented training and pure focus. The two girls couldn’t be more different, but soon their shared passion makes them inseparable – dreaming in lanes and lap-times, waking up picturing Olympic medals, each day stronger and faster… 

But set head to head in the run up to the World Championships, they find themselves and their friendship put to the ultimate test. As their relationships, their bodies, and their very identities are pulled into public scrutiny, does being exceptional come at too high a price? 

See the FAIR PLAY trailer here

The show is available to watch evenings at 7.30pm UK time until Saturday 19 February and with 2.30pm performances on 16 and 19 February. Please note all performances are captioned in English. Audio described performances are Thursday 17 at 7.30pm and Sat 19 at 2.30pm – Audio description cannot be turned off on these performances.

Tickets are available from £10 here


PAPATANGO New Writing Prize 2020 winner announced

Starting in 2009, the Papatango New Writing Prize is the biggest playwriting award in the UK, attracting more average annual entries than any other. It was the first – and remains the only annual – playwriting award to guarantee its winner a full world premiere in London followed by a national tour, plus royalties, publication and a £6,500 commission to support a follow-up play.

This year’s winner – selected from a record 1504 entries- is Igor Memić, a Duty manager at the Bridge Theatre, for his play called OLD BRIDGE. Igor is a British-Bosnian writer and refugee from Mostar, which is where the play is set, examining with humanity the joy and pain of growing up amidst the horror of war. The play will receive a full production at London’s Bush Theatre later in the year.

Igor was quoted as saying “I never thought a play like this could make the shortlist, let alone win. Writing it has been one of the most painful and important experiences of my life. My attempt at healing old wounds.”

Congratulations Igor!

Having seen the last few years’ Papatango winners, I am sure this will be yet another challenging, surprising and rewarding play

For all you budding playwrights, remember that Papatango is open to all residents of the UK or Ireland, free to enter, and assessed anonymously. So – all you need is a story.Submissions for the 2021 Prize will open in late 2020.

Views: On this week’s global protests

People of all colours and backgrounds around the world have united in peaceful protest at the killing of George Floyd at the hands of the police, yet another in a long line of killings in the USA all centred around race.

Racism is a cancer which cripples our society’s growth. Peaceful protest is understandably a significant way for people to express their grief and outrage. But it’s worth remembering that, as well as protest, there are so many other actions we can take which will also bring about change. And in my own opinion, education will play a major role in the way forward.

That is why I am asking you to support progress in a very specific way.

You and I know that theatre is a powerful educator. When theatre comes back – as it will – we will need all those companies who have produced radical, challenging and exciting work around the black experience to be primed and ready to leap out of the starting gate.

If you, like me, feel that you must contribute to the protest in some way, but feel that you haven’t quite found your own way in which to do this, then do something different. Donate! In particular, donate to the many excellent theatre and arts companies which are producing great work in sharing and exploring the experiences of People of Colour.

In the UK

Donate to Eclipse Theatre, who produced and toured a terrific play in early 2020, Janice Okoh’s THE GIFT (review here)

Donate to Tamasha and Paines Plough and the Bush Theatre who produced and toured Zia Ahmed’s I WANNA BE YOURS (review here)

Donate to The Bush Theatre, who have produced Temi Wilkey’s THE HIGH TABLE with Birmingham Repertory Theatre (review here)

Donate to The Young Vic which produced the UK premiere of the Pulitzer Prize-winning FAIRVIEW (review here)

In the UK and internationally

Donate to Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway’s (founder of award-winning ARTISTIC DIRECTORS OF THE FUTURE organisation) new project BEYOND THE CANON to draw students attention to literary diversity by championing hidden and forgotten plays written by Black, Asian, LatinX and Middle Eastern playwrights by making these texts available to students in the UK and internationally during the hiatus in global education systems. This is a brand new project today and I am thrilled to have been the first donor- so who will join me? Donate here

In the USA

Donate to award-winning Chicago playwright Reginald Edmund’s BLACK VOICES BLACK WORDS INTERNATIONAL project.

Whilst this is my own personal selection of my own recent engagements and experiences, I appreciate that there are many other great organisations which I haven’t highlighted here, so if you know them better than I do, why not donate to them also?

Change is coming, and you can help drive it. Use your money as a way of planting seeds of hope and thought for the future, to help these organisations’ contributions to conversations about important work flourish and grow. And hopefully to lead us all into a more enlightened and caring world where difference is no longer hated but celebrated.