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About the Black Plays Archive

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

The Black Plays Archive aims to catalogue the first productions of plays written by Black British, African, and Caribbean playwrights in Britain.

Unlike other archive collections, which are usually full of physical materials, the Black Plays Archive is a largely digital resource. It exists here, on this website, as a database of information. The Black Plays Archive is managed and run by the National Theatre, but it catalogues work from across time and from theatres across the UK. From the Royal Court to the Bush Theatre, Leeds Playhouse and Fairfield Halls, the Black Plays Archive documents the cast, creative and production teams behind a variety of plays and theatrical works.

The National Theatre’s Black Plays Archive project was initiated by the playwright and former NT Associate Kwame Kwei-Armah, who expressed a wish to explore and engage with African, Caribbean and Black British writers produced in the UK, a number of which had been largely forgotten.

Writers included in our archive include well known playwrights like Winsome Pinnock and Mustapha Matura and new and emerging writers who have had their work staged, like Amanda Wilkin, and Dipo Baruwa-Etti. This website is also a hub of information for teachers, students, and practitioners. Discover teaching resources, interviews, play extracts, monologue resources, and more on our special pages for teachers, students, and practitioners.

The archive is constantly being updated, so do contact us if you have information which can improve our records. For inquiries about getting involved with the Black Plays Archive, get in touch via the National Theatre Archive.

Thank You

Since its inception, a number of academics, practitioners, funders and volunteers have all contributed to the development of the Black Plays Archive. The National Theatre and the Black Plays Archive team are grateful for their work and collaboration over the past ten years. The Black Plays Archive would like to thank:


Arts Council England

Sustained Theatre

Black Cultural Archives – we would like to especially like to thank Hannah Ishmael, Collections and Research Manager at Black Cultural Archives whose support contributed to the initial research on the Black Plays Archive project.


The Black Plays Archive would like to also specifically thank the following individuals for their invaluable expertise and support:

Michael Abbensetts

Mojisola Adebayo

Oladipo Agboluaje


Martin Banham

Ed Berman

Michael Bhim

Steven Bourne

Yvonne Brewster

Linda Brogan

Michael Buffong

Burt Caeser

Ellen Cairns

Julia Calver

Topher Campbell

Elena Carter

Colin Chambers

Susan Croft

Felix Cross

Patricia Cumper

Anna Evans

Bernadine Evaristo

Karen Fisher

Malcolm Fredrick

Segun Lee French

Sarah Gorrod

Hugo Glendinning

Lennox Goddard

David Gregory

Isobel Hawson

Phillip Hedley

David Hermanstein

Tyrone Huggins

Rhian Hughes

Saul Hyman

Alby James

Thomas Kell

Arinzé Kene

Nicolas Kent

Don Kinch

Anthony Ekundayo-Lennon

Valerie Mason-John

Mustapha Matura

Murray Melvin

Kerry Michaels

Courttia Newland

Deirdre Osborne

Maria Oshodi

Michael Pearce

Anton Phillips

Winsome Pinnock

Imran Rahman

Paulette Randall

Paul Reid

Ramona Riedzewski

Suzanne Scafe

Raja Shakiry

Michael Simmons

Lemn Sissay

Hannah Smith

Derek Walcott

Edgar Nkosi White

Roy Williams

Ge Zhang


Dionna Farrell, Flavia Lamprecht, Callissa Mitterbach, Akash Sikah, Stephen Strauss, Marie Ndongue and volunteers from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama


For the National Theatre

Simelia Hodge-Dalloway, Natasha Bonnelame, Erin Lee, and Rianna Simons

In addition to a number of staff across the organisation we would like to especially thank the following National Theatre departments: Archive, Digital Media, Learning, NT Studio, Publications and Sound


Archives, Theatres, and Organisations

Black Cultural Archives
Clean Break Theatre Company
Future Histories
George Padmore Institute
Goldsmiths University
Islington Local History Centre
Leeds University
Ovalhouse Archive
Pilot Theatre
Royal Shakespeare Company
Talawa Theatre Company
Tiata Fahodzi
The Albany
The Royal Court Theatre
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
The Theatre and Performance Department, Victoria & Albert Museum
Theatre Royal Stratford East Archive
West Yorkshire Playhouse

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