Just over a week to go until rehearsals start for Maya Production’s The Croydon Avengers by Oladipo Agboluje. It’s a celebration, as with all Maya’s work, of diversity and Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee artistry. So I’m currently reflecting on the fact that I have a pumped up Billionaire White American man to thank for the inspiration for this play – no, it’s not Donald Trump ( although our writer Dipo has called the Media Moghul in the play – Regina Rump!) – but the one and only Bruce Wayne – AKA Batman! It was whilst I was watching a Batman film, many moons ago, that I was struck by the lack of superhero role models for young people from BAMER backgrounds – and wanted to do something about it.
As a one-woman operation running a small theatre company it’s taken me slightly longer than anticipated to get to this glorious stage – and Black Panther did beat us to it- but it’s been a fabulous journey. The play is inspired by young refugees and Londoners who took part in our Superheroes:South of the River Project that used martial arts, comic book storytelling and theatre to explore BAMER Role Models and Superheroes. We’ve worked with schools, youth theatres and youth clubs along the way, inviting a range of young people to take part in the process of making theatre. And now we’ve pulled together a fantastic team to make this super show happen.
One thing I’m really excited about today is our comic. Its an online introduction to the play and is beautifully illustrated by comic book artist Shane Melisse. It forms the first part of our online education resource pack we’re creating, with Why Comics?, Central Foundation Girls School and St Anthony’s Primary School, for teachers and youth leaders to use before and after they’ve seen the play.
Gotta dash to pick up my own superhero .. my seven year old son. He can’t wait to see the full production of The Croydon Avengers in action- on stage.
Oh and if I could have a superpower myself – it would be the power to duplicate myself and be in twenty places at once, to effortlessly achieve the juggling act of work/life/family balance…bliss.
Sneak peak at some of the comic below.
Suzanne Gorman – Director