London Theatre Bans White People For 'Black Only' Slave-Play Nights

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by Tyler Durden
Saturday, Mar 02, 2024 - 01:10 PM

Authored by Steve Watson via,

A theatre in the West End of London has received fierce criticism for planning to host two nights of a play where white people will not be welcome, in a so called “Black Out”.

The production of Slave Play, which will star the Game of Thrones actor Kit Harington, will run at the Noël Coward theatre, with dates on 17 July and 17 September, only being open to an ‘all-Black identifying audience’.

The theatre describes the events, claiming “Black Out nights are the purposeful creation of an environment in which all-Black identifying audience can experience and discuss an event in the performing arts, film, athletic and cultural spaces – free from the white gaze.”

Jeremy O Harris, the playwright of Slave Play, which tells the story of three interracial couples role-playing while on a plantation, told the BBC “I think that one of the things we have to remember is that people have to be radically invited to a space to know that they belong there. In most places in the West, poor people and black people have been told they do not belong inside in a theatre.”

Exactly who is telling black people that now in 2024 in London isn’t explained.

He continues, “There are a litany of places in all of our countries that are generally inhabited by only white people. No one is saying by inviting black audiences here you are uninvited. The idea of a Black Out night is to say this is a night where we are specifically inviting black people to fill up this space and feel safe.”

It really does sound a lot like the production has decided to make a point of ‘uninviting’ white people from attending the two shows, or banning them more accurately.

Commenting on the move, co-founder of the Conservatives Against Racism for Equality Albie Amankona urged “Disgraceful, a British theatre banning native Brits. We should not import American style race relations to the UK. ‘Black people & poor people’ have never been told ‘you do not belong in Theatres’ Americans should keep their reverse Jim Crow crap to themselves.”

Amy Gallagher, the Mayoral candidate for London’s Social Democratic Party, told The Telegraph that the move is “definitely racist,” adding “excluding anyone on the basis of skin colour in this way is racist.”

“They seem to be reverting to a critical race theory definition of racism whereby, according to Ibram X. Kendi, we need present discrimination, against white people, to make up for past discrimination,” Gallagher further noted.

“They say they want to be free from the “white gaze” which, of course, means white people, but they will not go as far to say white people as it would be illegal,” Gallagher urged.

Nickie Aiken, Conservative MP for the Cities of London and Westminster, has written to Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer about the theatre performances, noting “At a time when we see domestic racial tensions running high, why a west end theatre thinks it is acceptable to encourage racial segregation is beyond me.”

A spokesperson for the British Prime Minister told The London Evening Standard that the actions of the production are “concerning,” adding “clearly restricting audiences on the basis of race would be wrong and divisive.”

Harris issued a bizarre response stating “Hey 10 Downing Street and Rishi Sunak… there’s literally a war going on…maybe the death of thousands of Palestinian children should be more “concerning” than a playwright attempting to make the West End more inclusive to those who aren’t historically invited there.” 

Empire Street, the production company behind the London stretch of the play, also issued a statement, refuting the suggestion that white people will be banned, stating “As the producers of Slave Play in the West End, our intent is to celebrate the play with the widest possible audience. We want to increase accessibility to theatre for everyone.”

“The Broadway production conceived of black out nights and we are carefully considering how to incorporate this endeavour as part of two performances in our 13-week run. We will release further details soon. To be absolutely clear, no-one will be prevented or precluded from attending any performance of Slave Play,”  the statement also claimed.

It is illegal in the UK to turn anyone away from an event such as a play in a theatre based on the colour of their skin.

Hence that statement, but everyone knows what the real intention behind such ‘black out’ nights, which have previously been implemented before in London and New York, and have even spread to places like Canada.

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