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Cathy Tyson to star in first original commission from Black Theatre Live

Cathy Tyson.
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Cathy Tyson is to star in the world premiere of a play that will tour nationally as part of an initiative to increase the visibility of black and ethnic minority theatre.

She Called Me Mother is written by Michelle Inniss and will be directed by Cara Nolan. Tyson – who co-founded the play’s production company Pitch Lake Productions – said the play had the potential to be a “modern classic”.

It is the first new play to be commissioned from Black Theatre Live – a group of eight theatres which say they are “committed to increasing the amount of black and ethnic minority theatre on the touring circuit”. Member venues include Derby Theatre, Tara Arts and Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds.

Sarah Brigham, artistic director of Derby Theatre, said: “I’m delighted that our consortium have selected such an exciting prospect for our first commission. The combination of experienced artists such as Cathy Tyson and Michelle Innes, with an emerging director like Cara Nolan, signals the combination of quality and innovation which Black Theatre Live is all about.”

“The poetry of the script blew me away and I’m looking forward to bringing our audiences an unheard voice and story told through powerful and engaging drama,” she added.

She Called Me Mother will tour in the autumn, though dates have not been confirmed. It is Black Theatre Live’s second show, following a production of Macbeth which will commence touring in February.

Both productions are part of a three-year programme to bring performances from culturally diverse perspectives to regional venues.

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