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My White Best Friend

“Moving exploration of marginalisation”

There are a few seats at the edges of the room, but otherwise it’s standing room only, the audience gathered around three raised platforms. My White Best Friend (And Other Letters Left Unsaid), is a week-long festival of performances curated by Rachel De-Lahay and Milli Bhatia. Every night, new letters are presented, written by people from marginalised identities, and read out, unrehearsed, for the first time, by actors.

Mini Me, by Somalia Seaton, is a jumbled, heartfelt letter from Seaton to her younger self. It explores the ways that society boxes black women in and ignores the vulnerabilities of their gender in favour of stereotyping their race.

Nathan Bryon’s Shoplifting is a letter to the security guards at a branch of M&S, humorously voiced by Nick Holder. Byron has a solid background in comedy (he’s best known for his roles in Some Girls and Benidorm) and Shoplifting sparkles with witty, slang-peppered asides that are often so funny that Holder himself can’t hold in the laughter.

The strongest piece, My White Best Friend, by De-Lahay herself, is read by Inès de Clercq, the eponymous friend. It is a deeply moving exploration of female friendship, and a heartbreaking deconstruction of the way privilege and marginalisation scaffolds even the most beloved relationships, something people of colour must negotiate daily.

The power of the letter is underscored by the fact that De Clercq comes to the text for the first time on stage, and that the raw emotion of its delivery and discovery is experienced by the whole room together.

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Production Details
Production nameMy White Best Friend
VenueThe Bunker
StartsMarch 18, 2019
EndsMarch 23, 2019
Running timeVaries
AuthorMatilda Ibini, Anya Reiss, Iman Qureshi, Jammz ., Milli Bhatia, Nathan Byron, Nina Segal, Rachel De-Lahay, Somalia Seaton, Tolani Shoneye, Zia Ahmed
DirectorMilli Bhatia
Set designerKhadija Raza
CastBen Bailey Smith, Cherrelle Skeete, Chris Sonnex, George Mackay, Inès De Clercq, Nick Holder, Phoebe Fox, Ria Zmitrowicz, Shvorne Marks, Tom Moutchi, Zainab Hasan
Stage managerSam Hackney-Ring, Sylvia Darkwa Ohemeng
ProducerThe Bunker
VerdictFresh, genuine and excitingly varied experiential explorations of marginalisation and autobiography
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