a London theater reserves a performance of its play Tambo and Bones for black people

By Le Figaro



play poster Tambo and Bones of the London theater Royal Stratford East, whose first performance will take place on July 5th. Theater Royal Stratford East

The cultural establishment explains that it wants to create a space “freed from the white gaze”, for an “public of entirely black identification”.

For one of the performances of his play Tambo and Bones, the Royal Stratford East theater has made a decision that does not fail to make people react, beyond the cultural sphere. The establishment has indeed decided for its meeting on July 5, to restrict entries to a closed circle, for a “all-black id public“, in order to create a space “freed from white gaze“.

In a ambivalent statementit is nevertheless specified thatno one is excluded», during this performance named «black out“. The Royal Stratford East theater recalls that the first single-sex session took place on Broadway in 2019 for the play Slave Play of Jeremy O. Harris, as he felt “important that black spectators can experience sitting in a theatrical space where the whole audience looks like them“.

“Complex Racial Issues”

Director Matthew Xia of Tambo and Bones explains about him official site it was “imperative” to create “such a space“, while “in recent years, a number of playwrights and directors in the US and UK have created private and safe spaces for black audiences to attend productions that explore complex and nuanced racial issues“. The play written by Dave Harris indeed traces African-American history to the movement “Black Lives Matterthrough a minstrel and hip-hop show. Two characters are at the heart of the performance: Tambo, a businessman, and Bones, a hustler.

Everyone, regardless of gender, race or color, should be able to access all theaters.

Giles Watling, Conservative MP for Clacton

The room, described by the establishment as a “racially charged metatheatrical satire“, faces an outcry from several British personalities. Former First Secretary of State under Theresa May, Damian Green denounces to Times a communication “sinister“when the show is supposed to be”audience“. “If white people put on a show and excluded black people, for just one night, there would be an uproarlaments for his part Wanjiru Njoya, lecturer in law at the University of Exeter, They would not like anyone to be racist towards them. Why do they think it’s okay to be racist towards white people?»

The Conservative MP for Clacton, Giles Watling, is also indignant in the columns of the British daily: “Everyone, regardless of gender, race or color, should be able to access all theaters.» In the newspaper DailyMail Festus Akinbusoye, elected Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner, claimed that this representation would create “ a mediocre and dangerous precedent » and has « strongly urged the organizers to cancel the event. The Royal Stratford East theater justifies this discriminatory session, by the fact that it involved “congregation, celebration and healing“.

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