White theatergoers urged to stay away from all-black production – RT World News

Decision sets ‘poor and dangerous precedent’, says senior British police official

London’s Theater Royal Stratford East said white visitors should not attend an upcoming production of ‘Tambo & Bones’ in order to create a “safe, private” space for one “all-black identification hearing” to attend a play that examines race relations issues in the United States.

The so-called ‘Black Out’ performance of the play, which is due to take place in July, is intended to foster a “Deliberate creation of an environment in which an audience fully identifying with blacks can live and discuss an event without white gaze”, depending on the promotional material associated with the production.

However, Festus Akinbusoye, the UK’s first-ever black police and crime commissioner, has “strongly encouraged” the theater to cancel its “Black Out” event.

“Society is richer and stronger when understanding of each other’s cultures and histories is shared and heard,” Akinbusoye said in comments published by The Telegraph on Saturday. “I believe the concept of ‘Black Out’ goes against this philosophy of education and enrichment.”

Akinbusoye’s comments were approved “100%” by Samuel Kasumu, the former UK government race adviser who has launched his bid for next year’s mayoral elections in London.

“Tambo & Bones,” which opened in the United States in 2022 to mixed reviews, examines 300 years of African-American history through the lens of its two protagonists: Tambo, a businessman, and Bones. , which is characterized as a scammer. Throughout the production, the duo begins as minstrels before becoming rappers and finally members of the social justice movement “Black Lives Matter”.

Matthew Xia, the play’s director, said of the play in a press release this month that he was “imperative” that “Black Out” performances be staged so that black audiences “experience productions that explore complex and nuanced issues related to race” in a “private and safe space.”

The Theater Royal Stratford East has also indicated that it will resist changing its upcoming schedule due to the backlash. “We chose to embrace this initiative for a performance, during the month of the play, as a space for black audiences to experience the play as a community,” said a spokesperson for the theatre, according to The Telegraph on Saturday.

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