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Looking for reading to enrich your academic study? You’re in the right place.

Explore our bibliography of secondary sources related to Black theatre in Britain. This list was originally  compiled by Dr. Deirdre Osborne of Goldsmiths, University of London, and has since been added to.


Alibhai-Brown, Yasmin, ‘Black art can be bad, just as art by whites’ The Independent
5 February, 2005.

Anim-Addo, Joan. and Back, Les. ‘Black British Literature in British Universities: A 21st-Century Reality?’, in English Subject Centre Newsletter,  Issue 15, October, 2008. pp.10-14.

Arana, R. Victoria. ed. “Black” British Aesthetics Today Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2007.
—–. ed. Dictionary of Literary Biography: Twenty-First-Century “Black” British Writers Sumter, South Carolina: Bruccoli, Clark, and Layman; & Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research Company, 2009.

—–. ed. with Lauri Ramey Black British Writing New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.

Aston, Elaine. ed. Feminist Theatre Voices. Loughborough: Loughborough Theatre Texts, 1997.

—–. ‘debbie tucker green’ in Middeke, Schierer and Sierz (eds.) (2011), pp. 183-202.

—–. and Harris, Geraldine eds. Feminist Futures?: Theatre, Performance, Theory New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.


Barthelemy, Anthony Gerard. Black Face Maligned Race: The Representation of Blacks in English Drama from Shakespeare to Southerne, Baton Rouge and London: Louisiana State University Press, 1987.

Bharucha, Rustom. Theatre and the World : Performance and the Politics of Culture London and New York: Routledge, 1993.
Born in Slavery: Slave Narrative from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936-1938 accessed 4/2/2012.

Brewster, Yvonne. ed. Black Plays. London: Methuen, 1987.

—–. Black Plays Two. London: Methuen, 1989.

—–. Black Plays Three. London: Methuen, 1995.


Carretta, Vincent. ed. Unchained Voices: An Anthology of Black Voices in the English Speaking world of the Eighteenth Century Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1996.

Chater, Kathleen.  Untold Histories: Black People in England and Wales During the Period of the British Slave Trade, c.1660-1807 Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 2009.

Chambers, Colin. The Story of Unity Theatre, London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1989.
—–. Black and Asian Theatre in Britain London and New York: Routledge, 2010.

Cochrane, Claire. Twentieth-Century British theatre; Industry, Art and Empire Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

Considine, Ann. and Slovo, Robyn. eds. Dead Proud: From Second Wave Young Women Playwrights. London: The Women’s Press Ltd., 1987.

Croft, Susan. ed. with Bourne, Stephen and Terraciano, Alda. Black and Asian Performance at the Theatre Museum: A User’s Guide, London: Theatre Museum, 2002.


Dabydeen, David. ed. The Black Presence in English Literature London: Manchester University Press, 1985.
—–. and Gilmore, John., and Jones, Cecily. eds. The Oxford Companion to Black British History Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007

D’Aguiar, Fred. ‘Against Black British Literature’ in Butcher, Maggie. ed. Tibisiri: Caribbean Writers and Critics Sydney: Dangaroo Press, 1989. pp.106-14.

Davis, Geoffrey. And Fuchs, Anna. eds. Staging New Britain: Aspects of Black and South Asian British Theatre Practice, Brussels: Peter Lang, 2006.

Dawes, Kwame. “Black British Poetry: Some Considerations”. Write Black Write British: From Post Colonial to Black British Literature. ed. Kadija Sesay London: Hansib Publications Ltd., 2005. pp.282-299.

Derbyshire, Harry, ‘Roy Williams: Representing Multicultural Britain in Fallout’, Modern Drama, Vol.50, No.3 (2007), pp.414-434.

Donnell, Alison. ed. Companion to Contemporary Black British Culture London: Routledge, 2002.

E – F

Elam, Keir. “Tempo’s Sickle: Rapping, Zapping, Toasting, and Trekking through History in Black British Drama” The Yearbook of English Studies Vol.25 1995, pp.173-98.

Eldridge, Michael. “The Rise and Fall of Black Britain” Transition No.74 1997, pp.32-43.

Fragkou, Marissia. “Intercultural Encounters in debbie tucker green’s random.” Staging Interculturality: Papers given on the Occasion of the Eighteenth Annual conference of the “German Society for contemporary Theatre and Drama in English.” Eds. Werner Huber, Margarete Rubik, and Julia Novak. Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, 2010. pp.75-87.

Fryer, Peter. Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain London: Pluto Press, 1984.
—–. Aspects of Black British History London: Index Books Ltd, 1993.


Gates, Henry Louis Jnr. ‘A Reporter at Large: Black London’ in Owusu ed. (2000) pp.169-80.

George, Kadija. editor. Six Plays by Black and Asian Women Writers. London: Aurora Metro Press, 1993, 2005.

Gerzina, Gretchen. Black England: Life before Emancipation, London: John Murray, 1995.
—–. ed. Black Victorians: Black Victoriana, New Brunswick: Holbrook, 2003.

Goddard, Lynette. ‘Back pages’ Contemporary Theatre Review Vol.15, No.3, 2005. pp. 369-386.
—–. Staging Black Feminisms: Identity, Politics, Performance

—–. Contemporary Black British Playwrights: Margins to Mainstream

—–. The Methuen Drama Book of Plays by Black British Writers

—–. Errol John’s Moon on a Rainbow Shawl

Godiwala, Dimple. ed. Alternatives within the Mainstream: British Black and Asian Theatre Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2006.
—–. ed. Alternatives Within the Mainstream II: Queer Theatres in Post-War Britain Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007.

Gray, Frances. editor. Second Wave Plays: Women at the Albany Empire. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1990.

Griffin, Gabriele. Contemporary Black and Asian Women Playwrights in Britain Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press, 2003.
—–. and Aston, Elaine. editors. Herstory 2 vols. Sheffield: Shefflied Academic Press, 1991.


Habib, Imtiaz. Black Lives in the English Archives, 1500-1677: Imprints of the Invisible Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2008.

Hall, Kim. F. ‘“I Rather Would Wish to be a Black-Moor”: Beauty, Race, and Rank in Lady Mary Wroth’s Urania’, Margo Hendricks and Patricia Parker eds. Women, ‘Race,’ and Writing in the Early Modern Period. London and New York: Routledge, 1994. pp.178-194.

Hampshire, GB and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.
—–. “‘Death never used to be for the young’”. Contemporary Black British Women’s Writing. ed. Deirdre Osborne. Special Issue for Women: A Cultural Review 20.3 (2009), pp. 299-309.

hooks, bell. Yearning: race, gender and cultural politics Boston MA: South End Press, 1990.

I – J

Ifekwunigwe, Jayne O. ‘Diaspora’s Daughters, Africa’s Orphans?: On Lineage, Authenticity and “Mixed Race” Identity’ in Mirza, Heidi Safia. ed. Black British Feminism London and New York: Routledge, 1997, pp.127-152.

Innes, C.L. A History of Black and Asian Writing in Britain 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002; 2008.

Jarrett-Macauley, Delia. The Life of Una Marson: 1905-65, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1998.

Jones, Joni L. and Olomo, Iya Omi Osun. ‘Cast a Wide Net’ in Special Issue, ‘A Forum on Black Theatre: The Questions: What Is a Black Play? And/or What is Playing Black?’, Theatre Journal 57 (2005), pp.598-600.

Julie, Isaac and Mercer, Kobena “De Margin and De Centre”, Black British Cultural Studies: A Reader. Eds A. Baker Houston Jnr., Manthia Diawara and Ruth H. Lindeborg. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1996, pp. 194-209.


Khan, Naseem. The Arts Britain Ignores London: Commission for Racial Equality, 1976.

King, Bruce. The Internationalization of English Literature Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.

Korhonen, Anu. ‘Washing the Ethiopian white: conceptualizing black skin in Renaissance England.’ Black Africans in Renaissance Europe, Earle, T.F. and Lowe, K.J.P. eds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005. pp. 94-112.

Kumar, Krishan, The Making of English National Identity, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.


Lavrijsen, Ria. Black Theatre on the Move Amsterdam: Nederlands Theater Instituut, 1990.

Lechte, John. Julia Kristeva London and New York: Routledge, 1990.

Lindfors, Bernth. ‘Ira Aldridge in Germany’ Wasafiri Special Issue, African Europeans ed. Lyn Innes and Mark Stein. Vol.23., No.4 December, 2008. pp.8-11.


Marshall, Herbert and Mildred Stock. Ira Aldridge: The Negro Tragedian, London: Rockliff, 1958.

McCauley, Robbie. “The Struggle Continues” in “A Forum on Black Theatre: The Questions: What Is a Black Play? And/or What is Playing Black?” Theatre Journal 57 (2005), pp.583-585.

McLeod, John. ‘Some Problems with “British” in a “Black British Canon”’ Wasafiri Issue 36, Summer 2002. pp.56-59.
—–. ‘British Freedoms: Caryl Phillips’s Transatlanticism and the Staging of Rough Crossings’, Atlantic Studies 6:2 (2009), pp.191-206.
—–. ‘Extra Dimensions, New Routines: Contemporary Black Writing of Britain.’ Wasafiri Vol.64., (2010). pp. 45-52.

McMillan, Michael. ‘Re-baptizing the world in our own terms: Black theatre and live arts in Britain’, Canadian Theatre Review 118, 2004. pp.54-61.
—–. ‘Aesthetics of the West Indian Front Room’ in Arana, R. Victoria. ed. (2007) pp.297-312.
—–. ‘Ah Room Fe She Self’ SABLE  Spring/Summer 2008, pp.42-9.
—–. The Front Room; Migrant Aesthetics in the Home London: Black Dog Publishing Ltd., 2009.

Mason-John, Valerie. ed. Talking Black: Lesbians of African and Asian Descent Speak Out London: Cassell, 1995.
—–. Sin Dykes in Brown Girl in the Ring: Plays, Prose and Poems London: Get a Grip, 1999. pp.41-90.
—– Brown Girl in the Ring in Osborne ed. (2008) pp.287-316
—– and Khambatta, Ann. eds. Lesbians Talk: Making Black Waves London: Scarlet Press, 1993

Mercer, Kobena, Welcome to the Jungle: New Positions in Black Cultural Studies. London and New York: Routledge, 1994.

Middeke, Martin., Schierer, Peter Paul. and Sierz, Aleks eds. Methuen Modern British Playwrights London: Methuen Books, 2011.

Morrison, Toni. (1990) Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination London: Picador, 1993.

N – O


Nkrumah, Afia. ‘Introduction’ Black and Asian Plays: Anthology Robson, Cheryl. ed. London: Aurora Metro Press, 2000. 7-9.

Osborne, Deirdre. ‘Judging a book by its cover: reading, race and the search for identity in Fix Up by Kwame Kwei-Armah’ in Susanne Peters, Klaus Stierstorfer, Laurenz Volkmann, eds., Teaching Contemporary Literature and Culture Vol. 2, Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, 2006. pp.13-29.
—–.‘Writing Black Back: An Overview of Black Theatre and Performance in Britain’ in Studies in Theatre Performance Vol.26 No.1, Jan. 2006. pp.13-31.
—–. ed. Hidden Gems London: Oberon Books, 2008.
—–. ‘“I ain’t British though / Yes you are. You’re as English as I am”: Belonging and Unbelonging in Black British Drama’ in Ulrike Lindner,

Maren Mohring, Mark Stein and Silke Strothe eds., Hybrid Cultures, Nervous States: Britain and Germany in a (Post)Colonial World. Amsterdam & New York: Rodopi, 2010. pp.203-227.

Owusu, Kwesi. ed. Black British Culture and Society: a Text Reader London and New York: Routledge, 2000.


Peacock, D. Keith. ‘The Question of Multiculturalism: The Plays of Roy Williams’, in Mary Luckhurst (ed), A Companion to Modern British and Irish Drama (1880-2005), Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2006. pp.530-540.
—–, ‘Black British Drama and the Politics of Identity’, in Nadine Holdsworth and

Mary Luckhurst (eds), A Concise Companion to Contemporary British and Irish Drama, London: Blackwell Publishing, 2008. pp.48-65.

Pinnock, Winsome. ‘Breaking Down the Door’. Theatre in a Cool Climate Gottlieb, Vera. and Chambers, Colin. eds. Oxford: Amber Lane Press, 1999. pp.27-38.

Ponnuswami, Meenakshi. ‘Small island people: black British women playwrights’, in Elaine Aston and Janelle Reinelt (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Modern British Women Playwrights, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. pp.217-34.


Ramdin, Ron. Reimaging Britain: 500 Years of Black and Asian History London: Pluto press, 1999.

Rapi, Nina. and Chowdhry, Maya. eds. Acts of Passion: Sexuality, Gender and Performance New York and London: Harrington Park Press, 1998.

Rees, Roland. Fringe First: Pioneers of Fringe Theatre on Record Oberon Books: London, 1992.

Reinholdt, Janelle, ‘Selective Affinities: British Playwrights at Work 1’ Modern Drama, Vol.50, No.3, (2007), pp. 305-345.


Sandhu, Sukhdev. London Calling: How Black and Asian Writers Imagined a City London: HarperCollins Publishers, 2003.

Scafe, Suzanne, ‘Displacing the Centre: Home and Belonging in the Drama of Roy Williams’, in Joan Anim-Addo and Suzanne Scafe (eds), I Am
Black/White/Yellow: An Introduction to the Black Body in Europe, (London:Mango Publishing, 2007. pp. 71-87.

Shevtsova, Maria, ‘Minority/Dominant Culture in the Theatre’, Sociology of Theatre and Performance, Verona, Italy: Qui Edit, 2009. pp.273-287.

Shyllon, Folarin. Black People in Britain, 1555-1833 Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977.

Sierz, Aleks. In-yer-face Theatre: British Drama Today. London: Faber and Faber, 2000.

—–.‘Beyond Timidity: The State of British New Writing’, PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, PAJ 81, Vol.27, No.3, (2005), pp.55-61.

—–. Rewriting the Nation London: Methuen, 2011

SuAndi.  ed. Acts of Achievement Colloquium 2001 Manchester: artBlacklive, 2002.

—–. ‘Africa Lives on in We’ in Aston and Harris eds., (2006).

—–. ‘Cultural Memory and Today’s Black British Poets and Live Artists’, in Arana, R. Victoria. ed. (2007), pp.31-49.

T – U

Tellis, Ashley. ‘We Sinful Dykes: Lesbian Sexuality and Racial Politics in Valerie Mason-John’s Sin Dykes’ in Godiwala ed. (2007) pp. 239-247

Tokson, Elliott. H. The Popular Image of the Black Man in English Drama, 1550-1688, Boston, Mass: G.K.Hall and Co., 1982.

Ukaegbu, Victor. ‘Grey Silhouettes: Black Queer Theatre on the Post-War British Stage’ in Godiwala ed. (2007), pp.322-338.


Walmsley, Anne. The Caribbean Artists Movement, 1966-72 London: New Beacon Press, 1992.

Walvin, James. Black and White: The Negro in English Society 1555-1945 Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1973.

Wandor, Micheline. ed. Plays by Women Vol. IV. London: Methuen, 1985.

Waters, Hazel. Racism on the Victorian Stage: Representation of Slavery and the Black Character. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Wilson, August. The Ground On Which I Stand (1996) London: Nick Hern Books, 2001.

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