Peter Gill, playwright and theatre director
Scrape off the Black
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Plays Umbrella

Riverside Studios

August 1980

In association with Drum Arts Centre

A season of five specially commissioned new plays:

1 August 7.30 pm, 2,3 August 8 pm

A Dying Business

by Mustapha Matura

Director: Michael Joyce

In association with the Black Theatre Co-operative

An ironic comedy about a young man who returns to Trinidad for his father's funeral and tries to put into action the new-found knowledge and business acumen that he has acquired during his stay in England. His plans, however, do not make allowances for local character and he is soon outsmarted by the very provincials he affects to despise.

2,3 August 5 pm, 5,6,7 August 9.30 pm

Black Man's Burden

by Michael O'Neill & Jeremy Seabrook

Director: John Burgess

Melvita is brought up by her grandmother in a backward part of Jamaica. She is brought over to England to live with a mother and step-father she does not know. The tensions sparked off by her arrival have powerful and unforeseen effects on all their lives....

5,6,7 August 7 pm

The Mother Country

by Hanif Kureishi

Director: Tim Fywell

On a hot summer night in London a young Pakistani boy, born and brought up in London, listens to his Bowie records whilst his father is out squeezing rent from his harrassed white tenants. Outside, the streets echo with shouts and cries in preparation for tomorrow's march.....This powerful play highlights the fight of two generations of Pakistanis to find their separate identities in England.

8,9,10 August 7.30 pm

One Fine Day

by Nicholas Wright

Director: John Burgess

A comedy set in a teacher training college somewhere in East Africa. The arrival of a young English lecturer provokes a confrontation between the students and the comically villainous local party supremo. The play borrows many devices from African folk theatre to present a fast-moving and hilarious picture of life in an emergent country.

9,10 August 5 pm

Scrape off the Black

by Tunde Ikoli

Director: Peter Gill

A young black Londoner visits his white mother on the morning of his brother's release from prison. The play focusses on his desperate attempts to create a family where none exists - his mother is obsessed by bingo and a mountain of debts and his brother is intent on pursuing his criminal career. The play is by turns a funny and heartbreaking profile of a young boy, neither black nor white, in search of an identity.

The Company:

  • Yemi Ajibade
  • Yvonne Ali
  • Brian Bovell
  • Valerie Buchanan
  • Troy Foster
  • Decima Francis
  • Malcolm Fredericks
  • Mike Grady
  • Lyndam Gregory
  • Saeed Jaffrey
  • Okon Jones
  • Lucita Lijertwood
  • Mary Macleod
  • Beverley Martin
  • Joe Marcell
  • Susan Porrett
  • Corinne Skinner Carter
  • Peter Sproule
  • Larrington Walker

Rudolph Walker

Design: Alison Chitty

Lighting: David Richardson


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