Greenwich Theatre is focusing on the achievements and opportunities for black women in the arts this month.
The venue is hosting a series of performances throughout October as part of Black History Month including Othello from Smooth Faced Gentleman and The Women Of Kampla, in association with Greenwich-based Global Fusion Music and Arts.
First up on October 14 is the The Women Of Kampala concert, featuring Milly Namuksa, Essence Kasozi, Barbara Wamala, Sarah Ndagire and Rachel Nabudde. They will be backed by a seven-piece band for an evening of new music and rich East African rhythms.
Global Fusion director Louisa Le Marchand said: “They are a group of singers from the city of Kampala, living in England.
“They are fantastic dancers and actresses in their own right. Milly and Essence are soap stars in Uganda so there’ll be a lot of talent there.
“They will perform with Eben Oke and the Yoruba Soul-Jazz Band, an incredible band originally from Nigeria but now based in Woolwich. They are top African jazz musicians who will do their own spot as well.”
Then from October 20 to October 24 all-female Shakespeare company Smooth Faced Gentlemen bring Othello, with the iconic lead role played by Anita-Joy Uwajeh.
Anita said: “This is the last role I ever thought I would play – and especially in my 20s. It’s one of the hardest roles I have played, as it is such an emotionally complex and iconic role but I feel so very privileged and challenged by it. What I find most challenging is Othello’s journey. He goes from a glorified general to a jealous murderer. I just hope I can live up to expectations and do the role some justice.”
Greenwich Theatre’s artistic director James Haddrell said: “Black History Month is an important moment in the year and an important part of our programming, and we are proud to be approaching it in a new way this year.
“Our programme of events has also been selected by the MOBO Organisation to be part of the new MOBO Movement, helping to create more platforms and opportunities for exceptional talent from more diverse backgrounds. With such high profile endorsement of our work, we are now looking forward to welcoming audiences to see what we’ve been working towards.”
The venue also hosted Hannah and Hanna – the story of a teenage girl from Kosovo struggling to befriend a teenager from Margate at the height of the Kosovan asylum-seeker crisis in 1999.
Black History Month, Greenwich Theatre : The Women of Kampala, October 14, 7.30pm, £13.50-£16, Othello, October 20-24, 8pm, £10-£15.