“They ask me where I am from! I say I am a mix. Of both racism and sexism – they lay equally on my skin. Passed down unknowingly by my next of kin.”
The critically acclaimed play Queens of Sheba by Jessica L. Hagan, adapted by Nouveau Riche’s Ryan Calais Cameron triumphantly returns to the London stage for its longest run to date.
Directed by Jessica Kaliisa, the original National Tour cast – Tosin Alabi, Eshé Asante, Kokoma (Koko) Kwaku and Elisha Robin – reprise their roles for three weeks from 7th – 26th Feb!
Loosely based on the DSTRKT nightclub incident of 2015, Queens of Sheba tells the hilarious, moving, and uplifting stories of four passionate Black Women battling every-day misogynoir*; where sexism meets racism.
Turned away from a nightclub for being “too black”, four women take to the stage with their own explosive true stories: the music and the misogyny, the dancing and the drinking, the women and, of course, the (white) men.
Queens of Sheba draws attention to misogynoir, identifies it and begins to figure some way forward. Blending movement, music, and storytelling this award-winning show confronts the status quo, tackles the truth and speaks it. Stripped back, the words take centre stage.
Queens of Sheba is an award-winning five-star play by Jessica L. Hagan and was adapted for the stage by Nouveau Riché artistic director and co-founder Ryan Calais Cameron and devised by the company.
Queens of Sheba won the Untapped Award 2018, went on to win the coveted Edinburgh Stage Award 2018 before touring the UK in 2019 to national acclaim.
*Misogynoir [mi-soj-uh-nwar], noun. 1. the specific prejudice directed towards black women where race and gender both influence the bias.
For tickets and more information on Queens of Sheba, click here.
PREVIOUS PRAISE FOR QUEENS OF SHEBA
“[A] THEATRICAL FIREWORK, IN WHICH FOUR TERRIFIC PERFORMERS BURST ACROSS THE STAGE USING SONG, MOVEMENT AND SPOKEN WORD TO EXAMINE MISOGYNOIR.”
WINNER 2020 OFF WEST END AWARDS Best Performance Piece
Jessica L. Hagan is a playwright and screenwriter born and raised in Marylebone, London and of Ghanaian origin, originally a spoken word artist, Jessica began writing by using poetry and performance to tackle real life issues in a powerful, provocative way. Her work predominantly focuses on conversations surrounding the black woman’s experience, identity and belonging as a British-Ghanaian and her journey to finding faith.
Jessica was awarded funding to travel to Ghana and develop new work. She is now based in both London and Accra and continues to write and develop poetic pieces in both cities.
Keep on the lookout! ALT interviews Jessica L. Hagan… coming soon!
Jessica Kaliisa is a director, actress, and First-Class Honours Journalism graduate. During her time at university, Jessica focused her dissertation on investigating how The West systematically ‘Others’ Africa and its descendants and the effect this has had on society today, including misogynoir. Jessica’s intention was to create art from the truth her of work and honour the stories of the black women whose voices wanted to be heard.
We interviewed director Jessica Kaliisa pre-covid, when Queens of Sheba performed its national tour, pre-covid. You can check it out here!
Ryan Calais Cameron is a playwright, actor, director, and producer. In 2018 Ryan adapted Queens of Sheba, which toured nationwide in 2019. Ryan’s first play Timbuktu was part of the Bush Theatre’s Black Lives Black Words Festival 2016, a festival of radical new BAME voices. It was revived for a sell-out run at Stratford Theatre Royal East.
Ryan also wrote the acclaimed For Black Boys Who Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy (New Diorama 2021). Described by The Stage as ‘One of the most exciting theatre makers in the UK today’ Ryan appears in The Stage 25: Theatre makers to watch out for in 2022 and beyond.
ALT interviewed Ryan Calais Cameron last October about the impact of the pandemic on his creative-self and mental-health, as well as his hopes and motivations behind For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy. You can check it out here!
7 – 26 February 2022 @ Soho Theatre, London