New season at Theatre Peckham ‘shines a light on lived experiences of London’s Black community’

Harriet Clifford
Thursday, October 8, 2020

Reopening after six months of closure, South London’s Theatre Peckham launches a multi-artform programme of socially distanced, in-person and digital events showcasing the voices and work of young Black artists in London.

Theatre Peckham's Young, Gifted & Black season runs from October to 7 November
Theatre Peckham's Young, Gifted & Black season runs from October to 7 November

The events run throughout October and November and feature theatre, new writing, spoken word, poetry, scratch nights, panel discussions, workshops, seminars and exhibitions. Over the five week programme, curated by associate director malakaï sargeant and artistic director Suzann McLean, ten events will shine a light on lived experiences of London’s Black community. 

On 23 and 24 October, ...cake, a brand-new play by Women’s Prize for Playwriting 2020 finalist babirye bukilwa will be performed to live audiences, while on 4 November, Scratch That directed by Emily Aboud and Anthony Simpson Pike champions new Black writing and amplifies stories from writers of Caribbean descent. 

A series of in-person and live-streamed panel events entitled Young & Gifted Chats will bring together Black artists, academics, educators and entrepreneurs to examine pressing themes for Black Londoners and their allies. These themes include the Black British business boom during Covid-19 and the urgent need to decolonise education. 

Theatre Peckham also announces a brand new branch of work, set to deliver anti-racism coaching and training through bespoke workshops for organisations in the cultural, public and private sector. A taster event will take place during the Young, Gifted & Black season. 

Artistic director Suzann McLean said, ‘Being in lockdown has been tough on everyone's mental health and the creative economy is well placed to provide respite. Our theatre is firmly rooted within its community and we are working hard to combat the fear that a high number of people from culturally diverse backgrounds will be forced to leave the industry, resulting in long-term loss and undoing the vital impact which we have made over the years. Showcasing the voices of young Black artists in London through this season will help reconnect us, bring hope, ignite imagination and inspire creativity.’ 

The Young, Gifted & Black season runs from October to 7 November, coinciding with Black History Month in October.