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Playwright Arinze Kene appeared on Channel 4 to talk about his new play, Misty.
The play's protagonist is a young black man living in London, and it follows his story as he watches his neighbourhood become gentrified.
It is the second 'black British production' to make it to the West End.
Channel 4 presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy asked Kene, who both wrote the play and stars in it - whether it was a 'black play?'
Kene gave a measured, and simple response:
I don't know what a 'black play' is. I mean would you call Hamlet a 'white play?' I don't know if you would. I don't know what makes a 'black play' a 'black play.' This is a play about London.
I don't know what a 'black play' is. I mean would you call Hamlet a 'white play?' I don't know if you would.
I don't know what makes a 'black play' a 'black play.' This is a play about London.
The Interviewer continued his line of questioning: 'But if it's about a black person, and it's by a black person, and it's put on by black people, does that make it a black production?'
Kene responded with an expanded version of his analogy about Shakespeare:
My counter would be, if it is written by a white person, and if it's directed by white people and put on by white people, is that a white production. I don't know. I wouldn't call it one.
@Channel4News Brilliant response. One further step to defeating the embedded racism in our society. White-led enter… https://t.co/IbMdAZyYlv — Elaine's Inclusive Insights in 2022 💙 (@Elaine's Inclusive Insights in 2022 💙)
@Channel4News I LOVE his response!! The question from the interviewer was ignorant. Today in Britain people are con… https://t.co/GYIhvqgTpS — Annabel R Nielsen (@Annabel R Nielsen)
@Channel4News I would call Hamlet, "a play" I'd also call Misty, "a play" maybe that's just me. — Cpt. Dave 🟡🟡🟡🟡 🖖 - SS Centaur (@Cpt. Dave 🟡🟡🟡🟡 🖖 - SS Centaur)
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