Nineteen Black and ethnically diverse writers will write personal letters to be read out live on stage as part of a theatre work addressed to “those who need to hear it most”.
My White Best Friend - North has invited artists from across the north of England to write a series of personal letters “giving voice”, as one reviewer put it, “to what it is to be Black in a white-curated world”.
Each of the letters will be sealed in an envelope, to be opened and read by actors for the first time on the night.
The project builds on My White Best Friend (And Other Letters Left Unsaid) by Rachel De-Lahay, first performed in London. The new “northern” letters will be performed alongside De-Lahay’s original letter from My White Best Friend at each venue.
De-Lahay said: “I’m so proud to see this project in the north. I cannot wait to hear these brilliant writers say things they have, until now, kept quiet.”
The piece will be performed in a collaboration between Leeds-based Eclipse Theatre, Liverpool’s Everyman & Playhouse theatres and Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre.
Eclipse will present the production in three venues across Leeds: Slung Low’s venue The Holbeck on October 22, The Riley Theatre on November 2 and Left Bank on November 9. Writers announced for shows in Leeds are: Nick Ahad, Marcia Layne, Jamal Gerald, Malika Booker, Khadijah Ibrahiim, Chanje Kunda and Naomi Sumner Chan.
The production visits the Everyman in Liverpool for two nights on October 15-16, where the writers will be Dominique Walker, Kiara Mohammad, Brodie Arthur, Levi Tafari, Yasmin Ali and Chantelle Lunt.
On October 23 and 30 the production moves to the Royal Exchange Theatre, with the writers are mandla rae, Yusra Warsama, David Judge, Samuel Rossiter, Cheryl Martin and Nikhil Parmar.