Join Words of Colour at the WOW Festival

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Words of Colour Productions
@ the Women of the World Festival 2015

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Losing the faith: Navin Chowdhry (Kash) and Claire Calbraith (Natalie). Photo credit: Mark Douet

Play: Multitudes
Theatre: Tricycle Theatre
Playwright: John Hollingworth
Director: Indhu Rubasingham

Review by Esha Chaman

As the title suggests, Multitudes covers people of diverse backgrounds and their concerns and perceptions of Britishness. The timing of the play couldn’t be more apt with a forthcoming General Election in May and a national conversation focused on politics, immigration and radicalisation. All of which makes this play a conscientious triumph from first-time playwright John Hollingworth.

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Championing women writers

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Woman unbound: Springfield Road author Salena Godden.

Last summer, crowdfunding publisher Unbound turned three years old. We’d published some brilliant books including The Times bestseller Letters of Note and had Paul Kingsnorth’s The Wake longlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

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Interview with Julia Morrison and James E. Duff

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American filmmaking husband and wife team Julia Morrison and James E. Duff’s debut film Hank and Asha was the toast of the indie film festival circuit in 2014. Described as “uniquely captivating” by the Los Angeles Times and “charming” and “winsome” by the New York Times, the film is an endearing intercultural romantic comedy about the burgeoning relationship between an Indian woman in Prague and a white New Yorker who communicate via video letters.

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Managing the terror: Saleh Bakri (Khalid) and Shakira Riddell-Morales (Lubna). Photo credit: Helen Maybanks

Play: Fireworks
Theatre: Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, Royal Court
Playwright: Dalia Taha
Director: Richard Twyman

Review by Natalie Gormally

Dalia Taha’s debut is an intense and intimate play following two Palestinian families, confined to their now deserted apartment block as their town is besieged by Israeli air strikes.

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Reviewers, bloggers and online intern wanted

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Words of Colour online has been showcasing talent of colour in all the writing genres – from film and poetry to plays and novels, as well as our creative projects – since 2008.

The self-funded site covers theatre productions from fringe to the West End, features interviews with creatives as diverse as American crime fiction legend Walter Mosley to Black British director Amma Asante, champions up and coming talent, such as Alfred Fagon Award 2014 winner and Liberian Girl playwright Diana Nneka Atuona, to previewing films such Belle and Selma. It also features filmed interviews and podcasts we produce.

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Changing State

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Not living the dream: Ashden Oke (PR agent) and Belinda Fenty (Emma). Photo credit: Camilla Greenwell

Play: Changing State
Theatre: Hen & Chickens Theatre
Playwright: Tian Glasgow
Director: Tian Glasgow

Review by Esha Chaman

Tian Glasgow’s coming-of-age play is indisputably relevant, daring and triumphant in tone, focusing on the frustrations of a disaffected generation struck hardest by the recession. Changing State urges the audience to hold up a mirror to our society and takes a hard look at the disparaging situation facing Britain’s young adults today.

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Is young black love a myth?

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With Words of Colour Productions undertaking the first survey of its kind on Black Britons, relationships and dating, we thought it was time to hear what young black men and women feel about how they are represented as love objects in the media. Where are the role models? Are there positive examples of black love for them to relate to? If not, why not?

Answering some of these questions are bright young things Malika Isles who expresses concern at the role of social media in perpetuating unhelpful messages about black relationships and infidelity, while Abimbola Toyinbo points out the negative role played by some RnB artists and asks why the media prefers to represent ethnic relationships as being full of drama.

Malika Isles

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True Brits

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Two identities: David Mumeni (Rahul).

Play: True Brits
Theatre: VAULT Festival
Playwright: Vinay Patel
Director: Tanith Lindon

Review by Joy Francis

It’s 2012. Union Jack flags are flying everywhere. People of all races seem proud to be British. Rahul, 25, (played by a captivating David Mumeni) is one of them. But there is also some ambivalence.

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A matter of faith: Nicholas Khan (Mir Khalil), Esh Alladi (Governor Khan), Sargon Yelda (Aurangzeb), Simon Nagra (Mullah Farooq) and Rudi Dharmalingham (Danishmand). Photo credit: Ellie Kurttz

Play: Dara
Theatre: National Theatre (Lyttleton)
Playwright: Adapted by Tanya Ronder from Shahid Nadeem’s play (originally performed by Ajoka Theatre, Pakistan)
Director: Nadia Fall

Review by Natalie Gormally

Dara is the story of two brothers and their rivalry for the head of the Mughal Empire – a dispute that played a key role in shaping the history of modern day India and Pakistan. This epic 17th century tale is well known across South Asia, but it feels like the stuff of Shakespeare and deserves to be better known elsewhere.

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The risk of putting our stories in the spotlight

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Recently, I read a piece by Ben Okri about what he saw as the narrow field of vision of writers of colour in the West. Minority writers should move beyond issues of racial injustice, slavery and colonialism, he argued, and concentrate instead on something wider: the human condition. My first thought was, Okri really should cast his net more widely. My second was, I know this conversation, because it’s been going on in my head since I started working as a journalist 15 years ago.

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