Home US West End play tells white theatregoers they aren’t welcome as it hosts all-black audience nights at Kit Harington production to ‘protect’ ticketholders from ‘the white gaze’

West End play tells white theatregoers they aren’t welcome as it hosts all-black audience nights at Kit Harington production to ‘protect’ ticketholders from ‘the white gaze’

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On the nights of July 17 and September 17, the theater will be open to a
  • Two evenings will be left open for an ‘audience that identifies exclusively with black people’

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A “controversial” theater production about race, identity and sexuality in 21st-century America will be presented on two nights for black audiences to see the play “free from the white gaze.”

Slave Play, starring Kit Harington, best known for his role as Jon Snow on HBO’s Game of Thrones, is coming to the Noël Coward Theater in London’s West End from June 29 to September 21.

But on the nights of July 17 and September 17, the theater will be open to an “exclusively black-identified audience.”

A senior Conservative MP, who did not want to be named, raised questions about the decision to exclude whites from the programme, telling MailOnline: “I understand that the theme of the program may have particular resonance for some, but I would simply question the legality”. this?

‘In other circles it would be racial discrimination and illegal. I don’t understand why it’s not like that.

On the nights of July 17 and September 17, the theater will be open to an “exclusively black-identified audience.”

Slave Play stars Kit Harington, best known for his role as Jon Snow on the HBO series Game of Thrones.

Slave Play stars Kit Harington, best known for his role as Jon Snow on the HBO series Game of Thrones.

Slave Play stars Kit Harington, best known for his role as Jon Snow on the HBO series Game of Thrones.

Slave Play, written by Jeremy O Harris, was a huge hit when it debuted in 2019, but it was also controversial, with a petition to cancel it.

According to the guardiansome argued that the play, which revolves around three interracial couples trying to revitalize their relationships while role-playing on a plantation, downplayed slavery and left at least one audience member “offended and traumatized.”

Despite criticism, Slave Play received 12 Tony nominations in 2021.

As the play is set to be released this summer, writer Jeremy O Harris has criticized the casting of celebrities for stage performances.

He told The Guardian: “There are a lot of people doing theater now who think that commercial theater can only be done if you have someone who is in the biggest TV show or the biggest movie of all time, with the marquee name as the reason for purchasing the theater. ticket. I do not believe in that.

“It’s something that detracts from great theater because people treat it like a Disney World attraction, where the play is a backdrop to the fun of seeing their favorite celebrity in front of them.”

Slave Play comes to the Noël Coward Theater in London's West End from June 29 to September 21

Slave Play comes to the Noël Coward Theater in London's West End from June 29 to September 21

Slave Play comes to the Noël Coward Theater in London’s West End from June 29 to September 21

It is not the first time cinema bosses have faced backlash over so-called ‘Black Out’ events.

In May last year, London’s Theater Royal Stratford East came under fire after saying white patrons should not attend a performance of Tambo & Bones on July 5.

The theater claimed it was so audiences could enjoy the play “free from the white gaze” and that it was about creating a “safe private” space to allow an “all-black audience” to enjoy the show.

But former cabinet minister Damian Green criticized the move and said The times: “Putting on a public spectacle and then asking people of a certain ethnicity not to come is a mistake and a bit sinister.”

While Giles Watling, the Conservative MP for Clacton, called the decision a “big mistake”.

However, Tambo & Bones director Matthew Xia said it was important for the theater to create a space where black viewers could “explore complex and nuanced issues related to race”.

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