We learn about ourselves through stories. We learn about our past through stories. And we dare to hope through stories, too. As Black and Brown people we know this is part of our cultural tradition and heritage, but I’ve spent the last year (along with many) asking myself some important questions – which stories get to be labelled as important enough to tell? And who gets to tell them?
The past year has been difficult and isolating, and on top of that we've had the space and time to interrogate why society is the way it is, and whose story is important. The ripple effects of the deaths in our communities at the hands of authorities and the inequality in society has made us respond that we matter, Black lives matter and our history – our stories – matter, too.
We have made many gains in theatre, but there’s still a long way to go and as theatres begin to open up again we must challenge ourselves to support one another and to lift our stories high, in the place they deserve to be. In a time when the government is determined to deny the expanse of the school syllabus to tell the multicultural history of Britain correctly, it is especially up to us to tell the stories we need to tell and to dare to shine brightly. As a playwright, I am constantly reminding myself that the characters I write deserve to be heard – and they also deserve to be joyful.