By Max Greenhalgh • 22 May 2023 • 11:29
Theatre staging play for 'black audience only'
Photo Credit: Sbrooks91, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Theatre Royal Stratford East asks non-black audiences not to attend performance of ‘Tambo and Bones’.
The Theatre Royal Stratford East has come under criticism after it asked all non-black customers not to attend a performance of the play ‘Tambo and Bones’.
On their website, the theatre says a performance will be dedicated to an “all-black audience” to enjoy the play “free from the white gaze”.
The theatre has come under heavy criticism with some people saying it sets a dangerous precedent.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Festus Akinbusoye, Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) condemned the event.
Akinbusoye said it set a ‘poor and dangerous precedent’ and said he ‘strongly urged’ organisers to cancel the event.
Wanjiru Njoya, a law lecturer at the University of Exeter said: “If white people did a show and excluded black people for one night only, there would be an outcry. They wouldn’t like it if anyone was racist to them. Why do they think it’s OK to be racist to white people?”.
Sir Trevor Phillips, the former politician has spoken in support of the blacks-only performance: “It’s completely lawful. It is one night out of many. There are other performances designated for specific audiences.”
Tambo and Bones is written by Dave Harris and tells the story of two performers trapped in a minstrel show trying to escape and find fame and riches.
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