Theatre Peckham, “South London’s flagship cultural venue” has announced its 4th edition of Young, Gifted & Black. This season of work unapologetically celebrates people from the African diaspora through a variety of artforms. It has been curated by Associate Director Phillippe Cato.
Theatre Bubble have contacts who also tell us that as if this is not enough the Christmas production, Rapunzel, has already been finalised too! Theatre Peckham’s iconic annual Christmas show reunites playwright Geoff Aymer with Artistic Director Suzann McLean for the third time, delivering a fun-filled musical-inspired, pantoesque remix of a classic tale. The annual show’s signature blend of storytelling, dance and song, infused with an unmistakable Peckham twist, has become a favourite festive fixture with adults and family audiences in South London and beyond.
In the short term, starting in October,over 5 weeks Young, Gifted & Black, will be flying high with creativity and it all sounds like strong creative and exciting programme – themes including identity, friendship, loss, self-discovery and Black Womanhood. There are 7 new plays in the programme and a range of performing arts will be explored, including music, speech, mime, dance and comedy – there really is something for everyone. There will also be feedback and conversation sessions with a range of artists and performing professionals.
Young, Gifted & Black also welcomes back two artists whose work received wide acclaim at the inaugural Peckham Fringe in April this year. Tatenda Shamiso’s fringe sell-out No ID about a transgender migrant returns and India Wilson, whose fringe showcase was You Can’t Understand, offers up a fresh comedy drama Innocent Means Not Guilty. Tatenda Naomi Matsvai’s Dark Matter, was a work-in-progress in 2021 and returns to stage with this Afrofuturistic play exploring spirituality.
Check your diaries and really don’t miss out as this will be an exciting showcase of talent.
Two to highlight include:-
Friendships and nuanced perspectives take centre stage in both Innocent Means Not Guilty and One Way Out. The former, a comedy drama written by India Wilson has been written through the lens of a law student and interrogates Black female friendships studying in higher education and what that means while the latter is a touching and inspiring story of identity, brotherhood and belonging. This powerful drama is written and directed by Montel Douglas and returns after its successful scratch performance in 2021.
In The Key Of Love rounds off Young, Gifted & Black with a stunning visual performance across two nights by artist and singer Kaia Laurielle. This conceptual show pushes the boundaries of storytelling through music combining multi-disciplinary artforms such as audio, visual and live performance with R&B and Soul inspired songs and themes about home, belonging, displacement and self-love. Peppered in between these five weeks will be a series of inspiring In-conversations and a Solo Concert with very special artists and friends of Theatre Peckham.
There is a lot of talent out there, creativity is bursting and all of us in the arts should experience this diverse range pf performances and celebrate the talent showcased by Peckham Theatre.