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Queens of Sheba: Jessica Hagan and Jessica Kaliisa On Daring To Showcase Misogynoir In West End Theatre

The Queen of Sheba was a woman of abundance. In the Bible, she travels a long distance to meet the famously wise King Solomon. She tests his wisdom, questioning and challenging him, rather than accepting his knowledge without proof. She was a woman of substance. So, when I visited Soho Theatre to watch Jessica Hagan’s play, avidly titled Queens of Sheba, the name became all the more fitting throughout the four-woman show.

Adapted by Ryan Calias Cameron and directed by Jessica Kaliisa, Queens of Sheba is an ironically hilarious play about four black women’s experiences with misogynoir (the intersection where racism and sexism meet).

Returning this year following a sell-out run in 2021, the play is loosely based on a real-life situation in 2015 where a group of black women were turned away from DSTRKT, a club in Central London, for being “too dark”.