Photo by Paul Blakemore.

The New Black Showcase

Produced by Ola Animashawun and Leon Phillips.

The second New Black Showcase event took place in B2 on 23 to 26 February 2011 and featured short readings from new plays by writers from some of the West Midlands’ newest communities.

The writers that featured in The New Black Showcase had all recently completed the Belgrade’s groundbreaking Critical Mass script writing course for Black and Minority Ethnic communities. This was the participants’ first opportunity to see rehearsed readings of scenes from their plays performed in front of a live audience by professional actors.

The New Black Showcase featured readings from the following plays:

Bitter Melons – Written by Assid Rashid and Directed by Ola Animashawun (23 February)

Mo’s daughter is attacked for wearing a headscarf. A local Imam wants to make her a martyr to Islam, Mo’s best friend pushes for revenge. But what does Mo want?

Dhami’s Sari Shop by Harbir Nagra – Written by Harbir Nagra and Directed by Justine Themen (24 February)

Dhami’s Sari Shop on the Foleshill Road is a focus of the local community, but when a Sari Emporium opens up opposite, things start to fall apart.

Holding the Centre – Written by Joan Carty and Directed by Chris O’Connell with Leon Philips (25 February)

M1, is top dog on the streets of Birmingham, so why can’t he sleep at night? And when he does, why are his dreams so disturbing?

The Report – Written by Richard Jericho Wilson and Directed by Chris O’Connell (26 February)

When your words are twisted and your past is made your present, what hope do you have that the world will ever forgive you?

Ketch A Fire – Written by Moqapi Selassie and Directed by Ola Animashawun (26 February)

Binghi has been a pillar of the Rastafarian community for over twenty years, but when the streets of Lozells erupt into violence and his people need him most, he is nowhere to be found…

Critical Mass was developed by the Royal Court Theatre, London and ran in the West Midlands in 2009 and 2010 in partnership with the Belgrade Theatre and The Drum, Birmingham. The Belgrade continues to remain committed to the development of writers from the region’s BME communities and is currently seeking funding to enable continuation of the programme.

Dramaturg – Ola Animashauwn

Acting Company:
Adeel Akhtar
Waleed Akhtar
Daniel Anderson
Bhawna B. Bhawsar
Theresa Goddard
Bharti Patel
Debbie Tracey
Vincent Williams

Sam Allison, Alice Nicholas, Orla O’Connor, Leon Phillips, Kaseem Khuman, Eltina Maganga, Ben Patefield and Elliot Relton-Williams

The Belgrade Community & Education Company:
Associate Director – Community & Education – Justine Themen
General Manager – Community & Education – Janthi Mills
Programme Co-ordinator – Keith Tunstill
Drama Worker (BME) – Leon Phillips
Education Officer – Sam Allison
Drama Worker (Acting Out) – Alice Nicholas
Administration Assistant – Karen Nicholson
Workshop Leader – Orla O’Connor
Support Workers – Taylor-Lee Walker, Jouvan Fucinni and Lian Kelly

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