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.
English Touring Theatre has paired up with The Theatre Royal at Stratford East to bring us a thrilling production of Equus which is as brilliantly acted as it is choreographed. I saw the 1973 production of Equus at the National Theatre and remembered the horses played by people with horse heads as being ground breaking in terms of movement.
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.