The Actors Centre, the UK’s leading professional development organisation, supporting actors and creative talent throughout their careers, is delighted to announce the World Premiere of Cliffordkuju Henry’s In Search of a White Identity, which will run at its flagship theatre, the Tristan Bates Theatre, from 27 – 28 March 2020. It is produced by Toad in the Hole Theatre Company in association with The Actors Centre.
Following this week’s announcement 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, marks the first production which has been developed and produced in association with the Centre. The piece was originally performed as a work-in-progress production as part of The Actors Centre’s 2019 Working Class Season, curated by Actor Awareness.
Directed by Victoria Evaristo, In Search of a White Identity introduces Mickey (Drew Edwards), Patrick (Cliffordkuju Henry) and Mo (Ali Zaydi) — 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 when they are both arrested during an English Defence League march, why are they on opposing sides, and why have they been put in a cell with Mo?
In Search of a White Identity is an urgent piece of new writing that explores race, class and masculinity through the prism of detainment.
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 will run at the Tristan Bates Theatre from 27 – 28 March 2020. It is written by Cliffordkuju Henry, directed by Victoria Evaristo and produced by Jan Tsekpo for Toad in the Hole Theatre Company in association with The Actors Centre.
Click here to find out more about the production and book tickets.
NOTES TO EDITORS
DIRECTOR Victoria Evaristo trained at the Guildhall School of Music and drama and is an actor, director and freelance drama tutor. Her most recent acting work includes Extract (Soho Theatre), Baring the Weight (New Diorama) The Rally (Stockwell Playhouse). She has directed numerous in house (workshop) and public performances, in venues including the Arcola Theatre, Drill Hall (now the RADA studio), the Courtyard, the Cockpit and St. Luke’s Crypt. She has taught at Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, Redbridge Drama Centre, Sylvia Young Theatre School, Identity School of Acting, City University, and Eastside Educational Trust. Recent work includes a Forum Theatre project called Women Rise for Jacksons Lane Theatre, and directing a Summer school for British Youth Music Theatre.
MICKEY Drew Edwards recently played Christine Keeler’s stepfather in The Trial of Christine Keeler, and appeared in Suffragette, Dead Set and Primeval. He played Mickey in the scratch production of In Search of a White Identity at the John Thaw Studio.
PATRICK Clifford Henry has appeared within a range of multimedia platforms, including Top Boy and Dizzy Rascal’s Money Right. He is the creator of In Search of a White Identity, and played Patrick in the John Thaw Studio scratch production.
MO Ali Zaydi has appeared in productions of 2050: The Last Offender, Parental Responsibility, The One With Those Four German Bastards Who Aren’t Kraftwerk, Vindaloo and One Planet Future and trained at the Anna Scher Theatre.
THE ACTORS CENTRE Established in 1978, The Actors Centre is the UK’s leading professional development organisation, supporting actors and creative talent throughout their careers. Through an unrivalled programme of diverse workshops and masterclasses — led by distinguished practitioners from the worlds of theatre, film and television — The Actors Centre provides an essential space for actors to network, share and create.
The Actors Centre is also home to the Tristan Bates Theatre, established in 1994 by Sir Alan Bates in memory of his son. As the Centre’s flagship venue, the Tristan Bates Theatre champions new writing and presents a year-round programme of work from emerging and established artists as well as world-renowned theatre companies.
TOAD IN THE HOLE THEATRE COMPANY champions working class and other diverse voices. As an emerging company, its members bring several years’ experience from across the arts, education and mental health sectors.
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