Alternatives Within the Mainstream: British Black and Asian Theatres

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Dimple Godiwala
Cambridge Scholars Press, Jan 1, 2006 - Performing Arts - 415 pages
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Alternatives Within the Mainstream: British Black and Asian Theatres is the first comprehensive collection of critical essays on the subject. Edited by Dimple Godiwala, the anthology is in six parts: A lengthy Introduction is followed by Part II (Histories and Trajectories) which contains chapters which survey the work of the Black Theatre Forum and the histories of Black and Asian theatres in Britain. Part III (Histories of Theatre Companies and Arts Venues) charts brief histories of the major theatre companies, Talawa, Tara and Tamasha and contains a survey of Birmingham's changing arts venues. Part IV called simply Controversies is a document of the Sikh diaspora's uproar over Behzti and issues of censorship. Part V (The Dramatists) critically explores the work of several dramatists such as Killion M. Gideon, Liselle Kayla, Roselia John Baptiste, Trish Cooke, Zindika, Jackie Kay, Valerie Mason-John, Wole Soyinka, Sol B. River, Roy Williams, Kwame Kwei-Armah, Anu Kumar, Rukhsana Ahmad, Bettina Gracias, Bapsi Sidhwa, Tanika Gupta, Deepak Verma, Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti and Yasmin Whittaker Khan. Part V (Theatre Voices) consists of autobiographical essays by some of Britain's theatremakers. This contains contributions by Jatinder Verma, Yvonne Brewster, Sol B. River, Valerie Mason-John, Bapsi Sidhwa.
A long overdue book which examines in imaginative depth the 'universe inside' an often trivialised area of British theatre. Alternatives Within The Mainstream provides serious academic opinion and detailed textual analysis in abundance. The book's impressive collection of facts and analyses challenge the culture of myth which too often obscures the relevance of Black and Asian work. There are also many absorbing revelations: did you know, for instance, that Ignatius Sancho was Garrick's friend?
Yvonne Brewster

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British Black and Asian Theatres
material on Chiaroscuro which was first published in my monograph Breaking
Thirteenth Annual Conference of the German Society for Contemporary Theatre

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About the author (2006)

Dimple Godiwala teaches drama and postcolonial theory at York St John

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