Olivier and Tony Award-winning actor, Ian McDiarmid will play MP Enoch Powell in Chris Hannan’s searing play, What Shadows. Directed by Roxana Silbert (Artistic Director, Birmingham Repertory Theatre), What Shadows tells the story of Powell’s explosive Rivers of Blood speech, bringing to life the community that inspired it and, 30 years later, its effects on a woman trying to make sense of her life. The production runs 27 Sep – 28 Oct in PARK200.

Oxford academic and daughter of a Caribbean immigrant, Rose Cruickshank wants answers. Enoch’s controversial words about immigration shattered her childhood. Rose cannot find inner peace until she understands what led him to make the speech that defined a generation. Will a meeting with the man himself give her the answers she desperately craves?

Director Roxana Silbert says of What Shadows: “As we near the 50th anniversary of Enoch Powell’s explosive ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech, the nation finds itself again facing profound and difficult questions about national identity and attitudes to immigration. Chris’s powerful play is a scorching interrogation of prejudices and how a bitterly divided country moves forward in the wake of a crisis. It couldn’t be more necessary.”

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