Afrocentric Theatre, Music, Culture and Business

Queens of Sheba (18-23 Nov) @ Battersea Arts Centre Queens of Sheba (18-23 Nov) @ Battersea Arts Centre
Queens of Sheba (18-23 Nov) @ Battersea Arts Centre

What does it mean to be told to put chemicals in your hair at 5 years old, to straighten out the curls because the way it grows naturally isn’t right?


Why does the black beauty market thrive in its skin bleaching department? Why are big lips sultry on Kylie Jenner but ‘nigger lips’ on Ugandan model Aamito Stacie Lagum?


Queens of Sheba is based on a real incident at the DSTRKT Nightclub in 2015 when four women were turned away for ‘being too dark’. It was alleged that the club promoter wrote “black crowd is the concern” and intimated only she and her lighter-skinned friend would be allowed entry, but not two women in their group with darker skin.


Queens of Sheba draws attention to misogynoir, [mi-soj-uh-nwar], noun, which is the specific prejudice directed towards black women where race and gender both influence the bias.


It identifies it and begins to figure some way forward. It departs from the traditional methods of Western storytelling and uses elements of spoken word, physical theatre, dance and music from the African diaspora. The play confronts the status quo, tackles the truth and speaks it. Stripped back, the words take centre stage.


Queens of Sheba is an award-winning five star play by Jessica L. Hagan and adapted for the stage by Nouveau Riché artistic director and co-founder Ryan Calais Cameron.


This new co -production with Omnibus Theatre will be touring across the UK visiting 10 venues, supported by Arts Council England.


Queens of Sheba was first performed in March 2018 to a sold-out standing ovation at Camden People’s Theatre. The play also won the Untapped Award 2018 and went on to win the coveted Edinburgh Stage Award 2018.


Battersea Arts Centre, London, 18th – 23 Nov, 7.30pm Box Office: 020 7223 2223/ www.bac.org.uk

Lakeside Theatre, Colchester, 28th Nov, 7.30pm Box Office: 01223 352932 /www.lakesidetheatre.org.uk

The Curve, Slough, 29th Nov, 7.30pm. Box Office: 01753

Photo credit: Ali-Wright

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