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Eclipse Theatre National Tour

Published: 15 October 2014
Reporter: Velda Harris

Revolution Mix from Eclipse Theatre

Eclipse Theatre’s Artistic Director Dawn Walton has secured an Exceptional Award grant from Arts Council England to support work that will draw in storytellers, playwrights, actors, children and audiences from the black community.

Although Dawn would wish to break through the glass walls of contemporary theatres, where there is little representation of black people in management, she has taken on the much harder role of establishing a nationwide touring company with a three-year project which includes theatre presentations in mid-scale scale venues, short films and a radio play. The latter is in recognition of black people who can’t see, for whom there is little provision in mainstream media.

It is rare to see many people from the black community in a theatre unless they are supporting children or friends who are acting. Dawn’s response to this is to search out work that represents, not the American or South African view of black experience, but the home-ground kind.

Attack the Block (Joe Cornish) was a corrective to the prevailing view, presenting a tough inner city community with a flawed hero who came good. That might make a good stage play.