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She Called Me Mother starring Cathy Tyson to tour in Autumn 2015

She Called Me Mother with Cathy Tyson
Photo: Cathy Tyson. Credit: Elke Brook.

The debut show from Pitch Lake Productions, founded by actor Cathy Tyson, writer Michelle Inniss and director Cara Nolan will be the second show to tour for the Black Theatre Live consortium, dedicated to bringing inventive BAME theatre to venues across the country. She Called Me Mother is the first show to be commissioned by the consortium and will play in studio theatres around the country during Autumn 2015.

Starring Cathy Tyson, She Called Me Mother invites the audience into the life of Evangeline Gardner – a homeless, 70 year old Afro-Caribbean woman, who finds herself living on the streets. The play brings together Evangeline and her estranged daughter Shirley and is written in poetic Trinidadian vernacular rarely heard on our stages.

Cathy Tyson said “New plays are exciting as they offer the creative team the freedom to try out new ideas. The language in She Called Me Mother is in the Trinidadian vernacular and there are two BAME female leads. We hope that these features of the play help to fire the imagination of audiences. We are a BAME led theatre company but our themes are universal. So please feel free to enter into the characters of Evangeline and Shirley whatever your background is. We’re very pleased to be sharing their story with you.

Pitch Lake Productions was formed to address the lack of leading roles in British Theatre for BAME mid-career actors. Actor and Pitch Lake Productions co-founder Cathy Tyson is a BAFTA and Golden Globe nominated actress with over three decades of experience in the industry. She began her career at the Liverpool Everyman at the age of 17, before joining the RSC in 1984, and achieved widespread renown for her role in Mona Lisa alongside Bob Hoskins in 1986. Recent credits include Bright Phoenix (Liverpool Everyman), Stand (Oxford Playhouse and touring) and Monkey Bars (Traverse and touring).

Michelle Inniss is a writer and Spanish teacher. She will be published this Autumn in Closure: an anthology of short stories published by Peepal Tree. She has been long listed for Angle at The Bush Theatre 2011, shortlisted for The Fish Short Story Prize 2010, and in 2006 was awarded a runner up for the Penguin Decibel Prize.

Michelle Innis said “I am really excited by the prospect of Evangeline and Shirley’s stories being brought to life on stage and that the audience will be able to share in the telling of their stories.

Cara Nolan is a director and writer, who has worked across the UK and Europe and has recently completed an MA in Theatre Directing at RADA. Her directing credits include; Yard Gal by Rebecca Prichard, Oedipus adaptation by Geoff Williams, The Wing by Clara Brennan (2014), My Mother Said I Never Should (2012) and Alice in Wonderland (2010). She has been assistant director on Laurence Boswell’s production of Exit the King, Bright Phoenix directed by Serdar Bilis (2014) and The Raft of the Medusa by Joshua Sobol, directed by Andrew Visnevski (2014).

She Called Me Mother is the second production from Black Theatre Live, a pioneering consortium of 8 regional theatres committed to increasing the amount of Black and Ethnic Minority theatre on the touring circuit. It follows the recently concluded tour of Tara Arts new version of Macbeth.

Through a 3-year programme, Black Theatre Live will bring high quality performances from culturally diverse perspectives to venues across the country. The initiative is a partnership of Tara Arts (London), Derby Theatre, Queens Hall (Hexham), the Lighthouse (Poole), Theatre Royal Bury St. Edmunds, Theatre Royal Margate, Stratford Circus (London) & Key Theatre (Peterborough).

Sarah Brigham, Artistic Director Derby Theatre said “I’m delighted that our consortium have selected such an exciting prospect for our first commission – the combination of experienced artists such as Cathy Tyson and Michelle Innes, with an emerging director like Cara Nolan, signals the combination of quality and innovation which Black Theatre Live is all about. The poetry of the script blew me away and I’m looking forward to bringing our audiences an unheard voice and story told through powerful and engaging drama.

Black Theatre Live is supported by Arts Council England

Company Information
Cast Includes Cathy Tyson
Written by Michelle Inniss Directed by Cara Nolan

Tour listings
8 – 11 Oct Stratford Circus Arts Centre, London
Theatre Square, Stratford, London E15 1BX
Times and prices TBC

15 – 16 Oct Lighthouse, Poole
21 Kingland Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 1UG
Times and prices TBC
www.lighthousepoole.co.uk | 0844 406 8666

17 Oct Upstairs at the Western, Leicester
The Western Pub, 70 Western Road, Leicester LE3 0GA
7.30pm | £12 (£10 concs)

20 – 21 Oct Theatre Royal Margate
Addington Street, Margate, Kent CT9 1PW
Times and prices TBC

22 – 23 Oct Key Theatre, Peterborough
Embankment Road, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire PE1 1EF
Times and prices TBC

27 Oct Bickerton Village Hall
Long Lane, Bickerton, SY14 8AU
Times and prices TBC
www.bickertonvillagehall.com I 01829782348

29 – 31 Oct Unity Theatre, Liverpool
1 Hope Place, Liverpool L1 9BG
Times and prices TBC
www.unitytheatreliverpool.co.uk | 0844 8732888

4 Nov Artaud Theatre, Brunel University, London
Kingston Lane, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH
Times and prices TBC
01895 267 661 ex67661

5 – 6 Nov Derby Theatre
Theatre Walk, Derby DE1 2NF
Times and prices TBC
www.derbytheatre.co.uk | 01332 593939

7 Nov Belgrade Theatre, Coventry
Belgrade Square, Coventry, West Midlands CV1 1GS
Times and prices TBC
www.belgrade.co.uk | 024 7655 3055

11 – 12 Nov Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds
6 Westgate Street, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP33 1QR
Times and prices TBC
www.theatreroyal.org | 01284 769505

13 – 14 Nov The Lowry, Salford
Pier 8, The Quays, Salford, Manchester, Greater Manchester M50 3AZ
Times and prices TBC
www.thelowry.com | 0843 208 6010

18 Nov The Witham, Durham
3 Horsemarket, Barnard Castle, County Durham DL12 8LY
Times and prices TBC
www.thewitham.org.uk | 01833 631 107

20 – 21 Nov Queen’s Hall Arts, Hexham
Beaumont Street, Hexham NE46 3LS
Times and prices TBC
www.queenshall.co.uk | 01434 652477

Spring 2016 Tara Theatre, London*
356 Garratt Lane, London, SW18 4ES
Times and prices TBC
www.tara-arts.com I 020 8333 4457

*performances at Tara Theatre will be in aid of St Mungo’s Broadway.

Friday 10th July 2015


  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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