Black History Month: Black History plays in London

This Black History Month we wanted to spotlight some of the amazing plays and musicals in London that tell black history stories. From true stories based on iconic black musicians to tales of the British black experience, there are so many amazing productions on offer. Check out our list of productions that tell black stories about or upcoming in London below.

Legendary soul singer Beverly Knight plays Faye Treadwell, the Drifters manager who has spent three decades raising the band to the top.

A doo-wop, R’n’B and soul charcoal group, The Drifters has an ever-evolving line-up since the 1950s, and has had over 60 singers in its history. Faye Treadwell took over the management of the group after the untimely death of her husband in 1967.

Faye took The Drifters to higher and higher successes, making them a household name by the end of the decade and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees by the end of the next. In 1993 they performed in the White House for Bill Clinton and in 2004 they were included in Rolling Stone’s Top 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

It’s the story of the world’s first African-American female musician and her fight never to give up on the band she loved.

From the hills of rural Jamaica, armed only with his overwhelming talent and righteous beliefs, Bob Marley worked with steadfast determination to achieve international recognition for his prophetic musical message – a gospel of love and unity. .

With unlimited access to Marley’s catalog of platinum music, the multi-award winning team of Lee Hall, Clint Dyer and Arinzé Kene capture the rebellious spirit and history of this universal icon. A euphoric company of performers merge with the best reggae musicians to bring this triumphant story of passion, political turmoil and progress from Trenchtown to the West End.

Malindadzimu - Hampstead Theater

For Faith and her teenage daughter Hope, it seems that growing up inevitably means parting ways. Faith therefore takes the radical decision to bring the family back to her native Zimbabwe to start over. It’s home for her but not for Hope – at least, not on the surface … Will the powers that brought them back to their roots help them find themselves – and themselves?

Mufaro MakubikaThe new play, delicate, witty and epic in equal measure, travels from Nottingham to Zimbabwe to explore a mother and daughter’s search for belonging, their struggle against a multicultural heritage and a haunting story that never ends. can be ignored.

Marys Seacole - Donmar Warehouse

Mary Seacole was the pioneering Jamaican nurse who courageously traveled to treat soldiers during the Crimean War. She was a traveler, hotelier and businesswoman. She was the most impressive woman you have ever met.

Put the concept of a biopic through a kaleidoscope, Marys seacole is a dazzling exploration, across oceans and eras, of what it means to be a woman paid to care, and how, ultimately, no one is responsible for her own story.

Directed by Nadia Latif, the UK premiere of Pulitzer Prize winner Jackie Sibblies DruryFamous new play reunites the critically acclaimed team behind it Fairview in 2019.

A bar. A funeral home. An urban and zen enoteca and a conscious restaurant. A building in Brixton tells the story of London’s changing communities across three very different generations.

Trinidadian funeral director Clarence and fifth generation pub owner George don’t want things to change. But everything around them is changing. Are they adapting to survive? Or stay true to your roots and risk everything… family, tradition, business?

Following the Windrush scandal, Archie Maddocks’ bittersweet comedy holds a mirror to the ever-changing face of London communities in search of their common beating heart.

Running With Lions - Lyric Hammersmith

Following the death of a loved one, an Anglo-Caribbean family struggles to cope with their grief. Isolated by their generational beliefs and the challenges of their faith and sanity, they live between the things they do and don’t say.

Running with the Lions explores a family’s path to reconciliation after loss and rediscovering love and joy.

Running With Lions is the first play by Sian Carter, an exciting new talent as a writer. Running With Lions will be directed by Michael Buffong, Artistic Director of the Talawa Theater Company and is a co-production with the Talawa Theater Company, the UK’s remarkable Black British Theater Company.

Small island

Hortense longs for a new life far from rural Jamaica, Gilbert dreams of becoming a lawyer, and Queenie longs to escape her Lincolnshire roots.

Follow their lives during WWII until the arrival of the HMT Empire Wind Rush in Tilbury, hopes for the future soon meet the stubborn reality of post-war Britain.

Adapted by Helen Edmundson and directed by Rufus Norris, this play brings the tangled history of Jamaica and the UK to life.

Sold – Theater du Parc

Sold - Theater du Parc

When a woman recounts her extraordinary journey to defeat the brutality of slavery, she becomes a beacon for the British anti-slavery movement. Born into slavery in the British colony of Bermuda, Mary Prince became an auto-biographer and champion of freedom.

The words of Mary on the harsh realities of slavery and on the feeling of being separated from her family and loved ones and of being possessed, bought and sold gave voice to those who are often silent, silenced , ignored or defended. His book had an electrifying effect on the abolitionist movement, helping to free many Africans from slavery.

A forgotten true story told through drama, song, live percussion and dance, this British black theater masterpiece draws inspiration from the storytelling traditions of the West African griot.

Kuumba Nia Arts and To open the Chains Collective share and celebrate African and Caribbean heritage, cultural experience and stories.

From humble beginnings in Nutbush, Tennessee, to the world queen of rock’n’roll, Tina – The Tina Turner Musical is the new biographical musical that follows the story of a global icon, featuring her beloved songs.

Throughout her career, Tina Turner not only broke the rules, she rewrote them. This live musical reveals the untold story of a woman who dared to challenge the limits of her age, gender and race.

The revered singer was introduced to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991 and has often been voted one of the most successful female rock ‘n’ roll artists of all time. His live shows have been seen by millions of people, with more concert tickets sold than any other solo artist in musical history.

Problem in mind

A radical satire of racism in the theater. In 1950s America, protests for racial equality erupt over voter suppression.

On Broadway, Wiletta Mayer, a talented black actress, begins rehearsals for a new play about racism – written and directed by two white men. When Wiletta finds that her arguments for telling the truth about the story are rejected, she decides to act.

Created over 60 years ago, Trouble in Mind is widely regarded as the masterpiece of actress and playwright Alice Childress.

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