Signalling its commitment to its newly announced direction with the Tristan Bates Theatre and John Thaw Studios, The Actors Centre this month presents the premiere of Cliffordkuju Henry’s powerful new play In Search of a White Identity, the first production that has been developed and produced in association with the Centre.
In Search of a White Identity runs on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 March 2020 only at the Tristan Bates Theatre – with an opening night post-show Q&A chaired by MyTheatreMates founder Terri Paddock. An extra Saturday matinee has been added due to popular demand after the first two performances sold out.
The play was originally performed as a work-in-progress during The Actors Centre’s 2019 Working Class Season, curated by Actor Awareness. In line with the announcement, as reported yesterday on MyTheatreMates, that the John Thaw Studio will become a home for new writing, offering year-round development opportunities for artists, In Search of a White Identity was picked up for further development and this fully staged production in the Centre’s flagship 70-seat Tristan Bates Theatre.
In In Search of a White Identity, Mickey, Patrick and Mo are three men of different cultures who are forced to face each other and their divergent political beliefs head-on when they find themselves held in a police cell. Patrick and Mickey grew up together, so why have they been arrested on opposing sides of an English Defence League march? And why have they been put in a cell with Muslim Mo?
This urgent piece of new writing explores race, class and masculinity through the prism of detainment. The premiere production is directed by Victoria Evaristo and stars author Cliffordkuju Henry as Patrick alongside Drew Edwards as Mickey and Ali Zaidi as Mo. It is produced by Jan Tsekpo for Toad in the Hole Theatre Company in association with The Actors Centre.
Speaking ahead of the world premiere, writer Cliffordkuju Henry said:
“I’m grateful for the new Chief Executive Amanda Davey and The Actors Centre’s support. This project for me is about having a dialogue around working-class relationships, and illuminating the obstacles that get in the way of us relating to each other.”
Mitchell Reeve, Theatre Programme Manager at The Actors Centre, added: “We were all hugely impressed with Cliffordkuju’s script during our Working Class Season last year and we are incredibly excited for this crucial and pertinent play to reach wider audiences in our Tristan Bates Theatre. It is a piece that works on many different levels — a melting pot of cultures, beliefs, generations and backgrounds. In today’s current political climate, its message of unity and commonality against the odds is a powerful and vital one.
“In Search of a White Identity has been developed through our John Thaw Initiative and we are incredibly excited for its transfer into our Tristan Bates Theatre – marking the first of many productions supported by the Centre to come.”
In Search of a White Identity runs on 27 and 28 March 2020 at the Tristan Bates Theatre, 1A Tower Street, London WC2H 9NP. Evening performances are at 7.45pm, Saturday matinee is at 2.30pm. Tickets are priced £10-12. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!