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Black Plays Archive

Cataloguing the works of Black British, African, and Caribbean playwrights in Britain.

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The Black Plays Archive is an online catalogue of the first professional production in the UK of plays written by Black British, African, and Caribbean playwrights.

Within the Black Plays Archive (BPA), users can search for productions, listen to audio extracts of plays, watch interviews with playwrights and browse our resources for teachers. The Black Plays Archive logs productions from all over the UK, not just plays from the National Theatre.

Here, you can find information about a production, from where it had its premiere to the original cast and production team, with the online database spanning 1930 to today.

Who is the Black Plays Archive for?

The Black Plays Archive is for everyone, whether you’re a teacher, a student, an actor, a writer, an arts professional, or just a curious enthusiast.

The Black Plays Archive aims to expand the knowledge of those looking to learn about the works of Black British, African, and Caribbean playwrights and theatre-makers. With resources for teachers, audio recordings of plays, interviews and more, the Black Plays Archive is an expansive resource which aims to make information about productions, cast and production teams, and archival materials accessible in one central place.

The Black Plays Archive is managed and run by the National Theatre Archive team, but it includes historical work and productions from theatres across the UK. Discover the depths of Black British Theatre history here, with productions from the Royal Court, Leeds Playhouse, Bush Theatre and more catalogued on our website.

That Black Theatre Podcast

Explore That Black Theatre Podcast, hosted by PhD student Nadine Deller focusing on all things Black theatre and its history in the UK.

Education resource packs

Explore our specially written resources for teachers and educators. Featuring resources for Cuttin’ It by Charlene James, Three Sisters adapted by Inua Ellams and seven methods of killing kylie jenner by Jasmine Lee-Jones (Royal Court Theatre).

Spotlight On: The Alfred Fagon Award

Playwright and actor Faith Omole with director Daniel Bailey.

Playwright and actor Faith Omole with director Daniel Bailey. Photo © Sharron Wallace

The Alfred Fagon Award was set up in 1997 and is supported by The Peggy Ramsay Foundation, The Royal Court Theatre and Talawa Theatre Company. The award celebrates and recognises writers of Caribbean and African descent.

In the award’s 26 year history, a variety of talented playwrights from Roy Williams to Michaela Coel have been celebrated for their outstanding works. The Alfred Fagon Award is in memory of the lauded playwright and actor Alfred Fagon, who after suffering a fatal heart attack while jogging near his home, was given a pauper’s funeral following police negligence to properly identify his body.

For more information about the award, and to see this year’s winners and shortlist, head to the Alfred Fagon Award website. To discover more information about Alfred Fagon and his work, browse the playwrights in the Archive.

Three actors in rehearsal.

Browse the archive

Search our catalogue of first productions, from 1930 to today from all over the diaspora.

Play extracts

Explore recordings of contemporary and classic works by Black British playwrights made specially for the Black Plays Archive.

Contact us

Have a question about the BPA or information to improve our records? Get in touch with us here.

Privacy policy

Curious about our privacy and takedown policy? Find out more about how we protect your copyright.

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National Theatre Archive

Dive into an exciting world of theatre history inside the National Theatre Archive. Located offsite from the National Theatre on The Cut.