Black Theatre in London 1979 – 1982
Lyttelton Lounge at the National Theatre, 23 February – 15 April
If you are down in London why not check out this exhibition of photographs by Michael Mayhew and a new artwork by Cherelle Sappleton.
Bright Young Tings, an exhibition of photographs from the National Theatre Archive’s Michael Mayhew Collection is a rare snapshot of the work developed by black theatre practitioners between 1979 and 1982. Michael Mayhew was the NT’s Art Director (from 1976 to 2009) when he was first asked by Charlie Hanson to take publicity photographs of the newly established Black Theatre Cooperative. Shot in 35mm black-and-white film on a Nikon EL2 camera, Mayhew’s tightly framed images capture the emergence of the Black Theatre Co-operative and a spirit of hope in its cast and company members. Mayhew went on to shoot more images of theatre productions and rehearsals with Foco Novo and Temba Theatre, leaving a legacy of over 1000 newly digitised photographs at the NT Archive.
To respond to this archive collection, the NT commissioned Cherelle Sappleton, a young British Caribbean visual artist whose work focuses on photography, moving image and collage. For Sappleton, Mayhew’s images provide the opportunity to pause and consider the politics of ‘making’ and the spaces in which creative work can be made.
A series of events will run alongside the exhibition to explore and challenge the content and context of the work.
In Context – GLC Story, Black Feminist Theatre 1981 – 1986
Saturday 1 April, 2 – 5pm, Cottesloe Room, £25/£20/£7.50
On Screen – Tunde’s Film (dir. Tunde Ikoli and Maggie Pinhorn, 1973, 49 mins)
Saturday 1 April, 6 – 7.30pm, Cottesloe Room, £5/£3
In Context – Black Woman Time
Saturday 11 March, 2 – 5pm, Cottesloe Room, £25/£20/£7.50
Saturday 4 March, 6 – 7pm, Cottesloe Room, £6/£5