The full line-up of performers for the week-long festival of letters, My White Best Friend and Other Letters Left Unsaid, has been announced. Could you put your white best friend on stage and remind them that they’re part of the problem? Taking to the stage across the week to blindread the letters are Phoebe Fox (A View from the Bridge, Broadway and West End; The Acid Test, Royal Court Theatre), Ben Bailey Smith (David Brent: Life on the Road, BBC Films; as Doc Brown: Live at the Apollo, BBC) and The Bunker’s own Artistic Director, Chris Sonnex.
The exciting line-up also includes George MacKay (Pride, Pathé; Sunshine on Leith, BFI), Nick Holder (The Threepenny Opera, National Theatre; Everyman, National Theatre), Cherelle Skeete (Fun Home, Young Vic; Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Palace Theatre), Danny Lee Wynter (The Maids, Manchester HOME; Cell Mates, Hampstead Theatre), Shvorne Marks (A Profoundly Affectionate…, Royal Court Theatre; House, Clean Break) and Ria Zmitrowicz (Three Girls, BBC; X, Royal Court Theatre). These join the previously announced Inès de Clercq (Broadchurch, ITV; Jerusalem, Channel 4), Rosie Day (Watership Down, BBC; Outlander, STARZ), Tom Moutchi (Famalam, BBC; Twitstorm, Park Theatre) and Zainab Hasan (Tamburlaine, RSC; Shakespeare Trilogy, Donmar Warehouse).
Originally part of Black Lives Black Words, De-Lahay’s provocative act of letter writing engages with racial tensions, microaggressions and emotional labour. How do you start the conversation with someone you love about how their beliefs, their unthinking actions, their politics undermine, hurt, erase you? Writer Rachel De-Lahay and director Milli Bhatia have commissioned eleven writers to pen letters that say the unsaid to the people that matter most.
Inspired by the original piece, every night new letters will be given to performers to read for the first time onstage. Some of the most exciting voices in the UK have joined De-Lahay and Bhatia Page to put pen to paper to tackle the most uncomfortable and thorny issues in today’s society with work from Zia Ahmed, Travis Alabanza, Fatimah Ashgar, Nathan Bryon, Matilda Ibini, Jammz, Iman Qureshi, Anya Reiss, Nina Segal and Tolani Shoneye.
Each night’s line-up will be shared on the day through The Bunker’s social media. The performances will be followed by a DJ set in The Bunker with audiences invited to stay and enjoy the space until late.
Rachel De-Lahay comments, These are some of my favourite writers, who we asked to face some of their biggest fears and gripes about the world today. What we have now is a collection of brave and fearless essays of all the things most people tend to shy away from thinking let alone saying. And we’re going to shoot them out into the ether – for one night only – our very own Snapchat or Insta story of theatre.