but i cd only whisper by Kristiana Colon at Arcola Theatre

Sophie Watson for Tabula Rasa Theatre presents but i cd only whisper , by Kristiana Colon, inspired by the work of celebrated poet and playwright Ntozake Shange, at the Arcola Studio 2, in east London, from 31 Oct to 1 Dec 2012.

This poetic play tells the story of black Vietnam veteran Beau Willie Brown, following his arrest for a heinous crime in 1970s America. Through the echoes of machine guns, police sirens and chanted voices, this play addresses the stigmatisation and under-treatment of mental illness in the black community, and wrestles with demonising representations of black men in art and literature. (but i cd only whisper is written in poetic and phonetic style, refusing standardised grammar and spelling with a view to exploring the oral patterns of speech, an approach synonymous with both the poem inspiring the play and the writer’s own artistic philosophy.)

Directed by Nadia Latif, the cast includes Sian Breckin, Emmanuella Cole, Adetomiwa Edun, Cornell S John, Tunji Kasim, Paul McEwan.

Designed by Lorna Ritchie, lighting by Michael Nabarro, sound by Simon Slater, choreography by Imogen Knight.

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