Birmingham première for play about black manual workers

Published: 13 October 2020
Reporter: Steve Orme

Exploring “the possible and seemingly impossible”: Constructed

Birmingham REP is to present the world première of CJ Lloyd Webley and Lightpost Theatre Company’s Constructed which explores the culture of working-class black men in Britain.

The play explores the challenges that face manual workers both on a construction site and in their homes.

C J Lloyd Webley said, "my inspiration for Constructed first came when looking through some of history's most iconic structures; we’re all aware of their existence but who were the labourers behind these great landmarks? What’s their story and how does this apply in the modern context?

“We almost never hear of or celebrate the skilled tradespeople who build our megastructures further than the architect who designed them.

"In the middle of writing the play, George Floyd was murdered and the Black Lives Matter movement began. I started to think where we go from here and how this can inform some of the narrative in Constructed—exploring the possible and seemingly impossible for working-class black men in modern Britain."

Lightpost Theatre is a company of black men between the ages of 18 and 26 from across Birmingham and the West Midlands. They seek to challenge some of the social stigmas and ideas associated with young black men, using theatre as a gateway to create new plays of social and historical importance.

C J Lloyd Webley and Mathias André, both former Lighthouse Theatre members, will direct Constructed which will run in The Door at the REP from Thursday 3 until Saturday 5 December.