writer & director
It started one mid afternoon at a youth club in Ladbroke Grove called Metro. This was an open plan building where you could see all the activity from any vantage point in the building. Everyday from about midday until about 10.00 pm you could hear the sound of people slapping dominoes, where the losers could end up drinking pints of water. The loser of a table tennis game could end up waiting for hours before he or she could get another game. It was the hub of activity for Ladbroke Grove’s Black youth.
As I walked in one afternoon something out of the ordinary was happening. ‘No Guns In St Paul’s’ written by Alfred Fagon was struggling to be heard above the sounds of celebration or ridicule coming from the dominoes and tennis tables. It caught my attention and was the inspiration for me to later go on to study Drama & Sociology and post graduate studies in Anthropology.
I immersed myself in the convolutions of the European literary and dramatic traditions. And had the joy of discovering those literary giants from the Greeks, the Russians, the Germans, the English and the French. I left with a strong desire to enter that literary and dramatic world but searching desperately for a starting point.
I returned to Alfred Fagon and began another journey of discovery that led to Amiri Baraka (formerly Leroi Jones) with his Black Theatre movement in America, Derek Walcott and the Trinidad Theatre Workshop, Wole Soyinnka in Nigeria and many others too numerous to mention here.
But more importantly I discovered what was taking place past and present in Britain since the 1940’s with artists and companies such as Robert Adams, Dark and the Light Theatre, the Black Theatre of Brixton, L’Overture, Black theatre Cooperative, Temba and others.
From that early 1970’s insight to the present time it has been a constant journey of study and effort to locate my understanding and the progress of my own work within that tradition.