babirye bukilwa is the writer of …cake which will have its world premiere as a fully staged production at Theatre Peckham as part of its reopening season.
Directed by malakaï sargeant, …cake stars Danielle Kassarate and Donna Banya. …cake forms part of Suzann McLean, Theatre Peckham’s Artistic Director’s re-opening programme which champions the work of creatives from socially and culturally unique walks of life and challenges existing structures to support the growth of a representative sector.
…cake by babirye bukilwa runs at Theatre Peckham 13th July to 7th August 2021. Tickets are on sale here.
…cake is coming to Theatre Peckham for a four week run, what can you tell us about it?
Not too much so I come across as mysterious, so you come and watch it. This will be my first ever play that people can come and see in all its ugliness and edges for four weeks. The cast chemistry is unbelievable. The entire team and crew will one day in June say: haha gotcha babs and 2020 will still be here.
What inspired you to write it?
It exists as one out of three in a trilogy. I think I began to write it to understand patterns. The play that comes before it is dedicated to my youngest cousin, Ryan. I think I’m trying to make a road map for him.
How important was it to you to revisit Eshe’s story in this prequel to …blackbird hour?
Extremely important because we really get to see a character ten years later or before. it’s important to me to make connections and honour growth. where did Eshe come from? Where is she going? Why is she going there? Mirrors are important – mirrors are urgent.
And for audiences who aren’t familiar with …blackbird hour, how have you made …cake feel like a stand alone piece?
Well I hope it does stand alone, but art is subjective so… I think in all seriousness …cake wouldn’t exist without …blackbird hour and so when writing I tried my earnest to use …blackbird hour as the starting point of reference and built upon it. reading it back and highlighting delicate details and trying to sprinkle it throughout the play.
The play had a rehearsed reading last October as part of the Young, Gifted and Black Season, what did you learn from that experience?
That if you write a story then somebody will listen. That if you’re honest, people will hear themselves. That live theatre can change lives. That Black Surrealism is something that intrigues me. That I need to finish this play so I can finish the next and the next and the next and the next
Tell us about the cast and creative team, why are they the perfect team to deliver this new fully staged production?
The cast is kind of a dream come true to be honest and malakai was determined to honour the nuances of the play and the world. they led with their heart, in their mouth and they worked tirelessly to ensure we had an all Black team with the majority of them also being queer. This enables us to focus solely and completely about the work without compromising its context, angle or view. Having a Black healer/therapist throughout the rehearsal process for example, creating a casting call that didn’t mix its language and spelled out exactly that this play is honouring Dark skinned Black queer femmes is hugely important for the production and it’s a shame that nuances like this are still very rare. They don’t need to be. It’s quite simple actually. Danielle Kassarate and Donna Banya will honestly cost you your edges. Truly. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
What would you say to anyone thinking of booking tickets for …cake?
If you hate it, don’t find me on Twitter please.