Introduction to Hidden Gems Volume II

Osborne, Deirdre. 2012. Introduction to Hidden Gems Volume II. In: Deirdre Osborne, ed. Hidden Gems Volume II. London: Oberon Books, pp. 11-19. ISBN 9781849431484 [Book Section]

No full text available

Abstract or Description

In resisting, rather than capitulating to conditions where staging whiteness is an invisibilised norm and staging blackness continues to be exceptional and noted, the writers in Hidden Gems Volume II reach out beyond local, regional and national parameters towards the receptive possibilities of a globalised slipstream via their individual artistic paths, and in the subject-matter they dramatize. The form through which this is channelled varies: from an interface between monodrama and the dramatic monologue of Malika Booker’s Absolution, to the vehicle of the libretto as it serves to lyricize the epic adventures of SuAndi’s Mary Seacole, to the well-made play of Kwame Kwei-Armah’s A Bitter Herb and the problem play echoes to be found in Agyemang and Elcock’s comedy, Urban Afro Saxons. Moreover, temporality is not always reliant upon chronological ordering. The strategic use of anachrony seen in the analepsis and prolepsis of Courttia Newland’s The Far Side or the in medias res of Paul Anthony Morris’s Identity, can meld ghost story techniques with conventions of the courtroom drama, where retrievals of social history are intertwined with intimate domestic chronicles. These dramatists tailor traditions of city comedy, social realist, agit-prop and magic realist genres to represent the multi-cultural, trans-national and African diasporic inheritances that have emerged from a British-born context and creative development. Their plays offer recalibrations of history from black-centred perspectives and the multiple ways in which personal destinies have always been contoured by international politics and geographical mobility. The introductory commentaries to the plays are provided by people with insider knowledge of the subject-matter, and for whom the material provides a special resonance spanning the personal, political and aesthetic.

Item Type:

Book Section


Black British theatre, contemporary plays

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature
Theatre and Performance (TAP)


November 2012Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

21 Feb 2022 09:54

Last Modified:

21 Feb 2022 09:54


Edit Record Edit Record (login required)