I am Professor of Black Theatre and Performance. My research and teaching is focused in the area of the politics of contemporary Black British theatre and performance, including work on new writing by Black playwrights and contemporary Black productions of canonical plays. I have published a number of articles on Black British playwriting, as well as two monographs, a short cultural history of Errol John's Moon on a Rainbow Shawl, and a co-edited anthology of essays, Modern and Contemporary Black British Drama (London: Palgrave, 2014). My monograph Staging Black Feminisms: Identity, Politics, Performance (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2007) explored British Black womxn’s plays, poetry, and performance in relation to questions about feminist theatre practice. Contemporary Black British Playwrights: Margins to Mainstream (London: Palgrave, 2015) examined the mainstream presence of Kwame Kwei Armah, debbie tucker green, Bola Agbaje, and Roy Williams in the early twenty-first century, interrogating how their prominence was enabled by Arts Council funding policies to enhance diversity before thinking about how their representations provide ways of thinking about Black playwriting as a social and political practice that intervenes in contemporary debate about Black experience, race, and racism in the articulation of national and global identities. Errol John's Moon on a Rainbow Shawl is a short cultural history of this 1958 play about Windrush generation immigration rendered through reference to the original production and of four subsequent revivals.
My research on Black theatre practice also includes exploring debates about race and casting in contemporary Black British productions of Euro-American classics; a comparative study of Black history plays in the UK, USA, and British and Francophone Africa and the Caribbean; a project on how race and racism is staged in relation to big issue themes such as race and immigration, Black men and the police, and race and the rise of right-wing politicians; I am also researching a project on Black British directors: Access and Inclusion, which broadens my research to analyse productions of African-American plays as staged in the UK.
I selected and introduced the plays for The Methuen Drama Book of Plays By Black British Writers (London: Methuen, 2011), which includes plays dealing with identity politics across three generations of Black playwriting in Britain from the late 1970s until the early 2000s.