A very select bibliography indicating some secondary sources related to black theatre in Britain.

Compiled by Dr. Deirdre Osborne, Goldsmiths, University of London


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.



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

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.


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.


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.



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.