As the global spotlight on the Black Lives Matter movement continues, British playwright Roy Williams has brought together a collective of writers to respond artistically to George Floyd’s murder and racial inequality and oppression. The audio play project, titled 846 and directed by Ola Ince, will be released for free on Theatre Royal Stratford East's website.
Dropping July 20, 846 is a collection of 15 short audio pieces: I Can Breathe But I Don’t by Samina Baig, performed by Stephanie Street; Shehe by Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti, performed by Paapa Essiedu; I Witnessed a Murder by Eddie Botsio, performed by Tamara Lawrence; The Time When by Ishy Din, performed by Shane Zaza; Triggered by Clint Dyer, performed by Clint Dyer; Suck. Your. Mum. by Nathan Powell, performed by Kevin Harvey; The Revolution Will Not Be Televised by Lettie Precious, performed by Jade Anouka; Cop by Avril E. Russell, performed by Cherrelle Skeete; Syrita by Carol Russell, performed by Carol Russell; Say Their Names by Sumerah Srivastav, performed by Will Edgerton; My Part by Selina Thompson, performed by Jude Akuwudike, Doreene Blackstock, Carlos Byles, Dona Croll, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Martina Laird, and Rebekah Murrell; Fong Lee by David K.S. Tse, performed by Tuyen Do; Ic3 by Nat Marcello White, performed by Kirsty Bushell; and 8 Minutes 46 Seconds by Williams, performed by Elijah Ansah.
846 features dramaturgy by Ince, a soundscape by Donato Wharton, and casting by Nadia Fall, Stratford East's artistic director.
Following the virtual premiere, the project will be adapted and performed live as part of the Greenwich+Docklands International Festival in September.
“Like the rest of the world, I was of course sickened at the sight of that video. The blatant murder of a fellow Black man. There is no other way to describe it," shares Williams. "As shocking as it was, the little voice inside my head was saying, ‘You know you are going to write about this, so what are you waiting for? Get going!’ I did, but I knew I couldn't do this alone. I reached out to a group of Black and Asian writers that I belong to on Facebook. They were as shocked and as sickened as I was. I told them what my little voice was telling me, that we should respond!“
Learn more by visiting StratfordEast.com/846.