Half Me, Half You Q&A video: What if you were a black, gay woman in Trump’s America?

In Features, Interviews, London theatre, Native, Opinion, Plays, Quotes, Reviews, Sticky, Ticket recommendations, Video by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

Did seeing fascist Tommy Robinson denouncing Muslims and immigrants on a big screen in Whitehall terrify you? What are the long-term consequences of today’s political rhetoric in Trump’s America and Brexit Britain? How much does it fuel hate crimes against minority groups? How worried should we be? What can we do about it?

Debut playwright Liane Grant was inspired to write Half Me, Half You, set in Trump’s America today and then 16 years in the future, after watching the president praise “very fine people” taking part in white supremacist demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia that led to the murder of counter-protestor Heather Heyer in 2017. Burning with outrage, the script poured out of her in just seven days.

The play asks us to imagine: What if you were a black, gay woman in America under this wannabe autocrat’s regime? How would it affect your relationships and your life choices?

In Act One, Jess and Meredith are a married, interracial, gay couple living in New York in 2017 – the era of Trump – weathering a new wave of intolerance, discrimination and oppression, which is sweeping the nation and seeping into their home.

In Act Two, 16 years later, Maya, Jess’ biracial British teenaged daughter is forced to live with Meredith in New York, braving the aftermath of a second American Civil War, that was triggered by a series of orchestrated hate crimes against African-Americans and other minority groups.

At this week’s Q&A, in a lengthy, wide-ranging and at times searingly frank and honest discussion, we discussed hate crime, racism, homophobia and other issues with Liane Grant, who also plays Meredith, co-stars Toccarra Cash and Kalea Williams, who play Jess and Meredith, as well as special guests Rose Simkins, CEO of Stop Hate UK, the support charity set up after the 1993 murder of black British teenager Stephen Lawrence, and Olivier Award-winning actor and director Maria Friedman.

We also had some great contributions from the audience, including from director Leah Fogo, Maria Friedman’s son Alfie and a multi-racial group of young people from Hammersmith Academy. How hopeful or fearful do they feel in today’s environment?

Half Me, Half You continues until Saturday 6 April 2019 at the Tristan Bates Theatre, 1A Tower Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9NP, every night at 7.45pm. Tickets are £18 (concessions £15). CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!

Q&A video

More from the Q&A

Don't miss our live-tweeting from the Half Me, Half You discussion, plus more photos and video.

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Terri Paddock
Terri Paddock runs MyTheatreGroup, which provides content and social media marketing services for theatre clients across channels including MyTheatreMates.com, StageFaves.com, Stage Talk and TerriPaddock.com. Previously,
Terri Paddock founded WhatsOnStage.com and the WhatsOnStage Awards, running the company and its events from 1996 to 2013. Terri is also the author of two novels, Come Clean and Beware the Dwarfs, and has previously written for the Evening Standard, Independent, The Times and other national publications. She also produces the annual Critics' Circle Theatre Awards and acts as a digital, content strategy and event consultant for theatre, producers and other clients. She tweets about theatre at @TerriPaddock.
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Terri Paddock on FacebookTerri Paddock on InstagramTerri Paddock on LinkedinTerri Paddock on TwitterTerri Paddock on Youtube
Terri Paddock
Terri Paddock runs MyTheatreGroup, which provides content and social media marketing services for theatre clients across channels including MyTheatreMates.com, StageFaves.com, Stage Talk and TerriPaddock.com. Previously,
Terri Paddock founded WhatsOnStage.com and the WhatsOnStage Awards, running the company and its events from 1996 to 2013. Terri is also the author of two novels, Come Clean and Beware the Dwarfs, and has previously written for the Evening Standard, Independent, The Times and other national publications. She also produces the annual Critics' Circle Theatre Awards and acts as a digital, content strategy and event consultant for theatre, producers and other clients. She tweets about theatre at @TerriPaddock.

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