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The black British actor in America
February 4, 2014 1:21 PM   Subscribe

"To be honest," he says, "I had got to the point in London when I started to feel a little frustrated. I know moaning is part of our national character, but I hate it. And I found myself moaning a lot about theatre. Why did they decide to put that on? How come he got to direct that? And why is it that they only want plays about black people who are part of the underclass or involved in street crime? Is it because those are the only types of plays about minorities that ageing white middle-aged reviewers feel they can understand? I just found myself moaning and moaning and moaning…" (slGrauniad)
posted by Kitteh (12 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
That was super interesting, thanks.

Now I want to see A Raisin in the Sun, Clybourne Park, and Beneatha's Place all together or maybe within a few days of each other. I really need to see more plays in general, actually.
posted by ODiV at 1:43 PM on February 4


I read this the other day, and it is a very interesting interview.
posted by Thing at 1:47 PM on February 4


Everyone needs to see more plays in general. Live theater, people: when it's good there's nothing on earth like it.
posted by yoink at 1:54 PM on February 4 [5 favorites]


Idris Elba had started it, with his scene-stealing portrayal of Stringer Bell, the aspirational drug dealer in The Wire

Not to deflate his star or anything, but before Idris Elba did The Wire, there was Oz's Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Eamonn Walker.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:04 PM on February 4 [2 favorites]


A lot of interesting stuff in that. This is a very talented man.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:06 PM on February 4


Now I want to see A Raisin in the Sun, Clybourne Park, and Beneatha's Place all together or maybe within a few days of each other.

I really loved Clybourne Park as a response to A Raisin in the Sun - but he's right, it's a white man's response to A Raisin in the Sun. And so now I'm really intrigued to see Beneatha's Place - and how great he wrote that as a response to Raisin and Clybourne, because he felt so much pressure to program Clybourne Park, even though he didn't like it.
posted by crossoverman at 3:11 PM on February 4


I would pay good solid serious money to see him and Avery Brooks do something together.
posted by Sara C. at 3:13 PM on February 4 [5 favorites]


when it's good there's nothing on earth like it.

Conversely, bad theatre is so, so much worse than a bad movie, not least because if you get up and walk out in the middle of a bad movie you don't feel like an asshole with audience members staring at you.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:16 PM on February 4 [2 favorites]


That was a fascinating interview (and makes me wish I could see more theater).
posted by languagehat at 5:06 PM on February 4 [1 favorite]


"And to compound it I did a stupid thing: I described Clybourne in the way that I just did to a journalist who had been part of the committee that awarded Bruce the Pulitzer. He wrote a headline in the Washington Post that read: 'A new sheriff is in town' with the implication that I wanted to tell America what to think about race. I thought fuck me, now I've set myself up for it."

Would Mel Brooks please go to the White Courtesy phone.

"...he is deep into a couple of screenplays – one about "the first African-American spy who J Edgar Hoover had infiltrate Marcus Garvey's organisation in Jamaica"

That sounds amazing.
posted by marienbad at 4:04 AM on February 5


And will sadly never get made, for the reason that the ten-years-of-development-hell period drama about the Haitian Revolution will never get made.
posted by Sara C. at 11:13 AM on February 5


(Though I'm curious to see how films like Twelve Years A Slave change that, so maybe I should be more optimistic?)
posted by Sara C. at 11:22 AM on February 5


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