Janice Okoh's play The Gift for Eclipse, a Black Theatre company which fosters and supports black artists in the North of England, is a comedy of manners and a satire on race relations over two centuries. Based on Queen Victoria's black goddaughter Sarah Bonetta Davies who was gifted to the queen after she recognised the 5 year old's intelligence, the play is constructed around three tea parties.
Set in Reading, Pennsylvania,Sweat looks at blue collar workers in America and how after years of toiling for the same company they lose their jobs to cheaper labour, from immigrant communities within the United States, or to the residents of Mexico. Reading is a steel town and like Sheffield, in the 1997 film The Full Monty, is one which finds it is losing jobs to cheaper producers abroad. Of course what Lynn Nottage is cleverly documenting is the reason behind the political success of Donald Trump in the 2016 election with the support of blue collar Americans.
Arinzé Kene has written and performs Misty a play that it is difficult to categorise but is all the more stimulating for this. It feels like poetry as he describes the urban landscape of London with its creeping gentrification for which Kene uses the metaphor of an invasion of viruses into the human body.