PlayFight, an unflinching look at the adultification of young Black males, will transfer to the West End’s Seven Dials Playhouse from The Pleasance this summer. This poignant and vital production explores how racism within education systems and wider communities has a dangerous effect on
young Black people’s lives, sometimes resulting in pushing them towards crime.
TJ, Kai and Zara have been inseparable as long as they can remember but as they’ve grown older, things have begun to change. For these young people, the way they are perceived feels like an inevitable script written in stone, carved decades before their birth. When the weight of that stone
threatens to crush them, slowly and imperceptibly at first, this piece explores how alienation and a lack of support can make already vulnerable young Black people victims of harmful stereotypes.
Produced by Orísun Productions, PlayFight premiered at Deptford Town Hall in 2021, followed by a two-night run at the inaugural Peckham Fringe Festival in 2022 before heading to The Pleasance. July 2023 will see PlayFight’s West End debut at Seven Dials Playhouse. PlayFight is directed by Leian John-Baptiste (Waterfalls, Stop and Search, Barbershop Chronicles, is god is).
Orísun Productions was born out of Shereener Browne’s frustration with the lack of roles for Black actors. Tired of audition notices calling for the maid, the slave or the baby-mother, she had a desire for change and a need for action. A chance meeting with collaborator Seun Shote led to Orísun
Productions, a production company that challenges stereotypes, promotes diversity and encourages the telling of stories featuring actors from the diaspora. Orísun Productions provides a platform for creatives from the African diaspora, with the specific aim of breaking down stereotypes. As part of this commitment, they will present a Black Out performance of PlayFight on Saturday 29th July, in order to provide a space for Black audiences to experience PlayFight as a community.
Producer Shereener Browne comments, Orísun Productions is both excited and proud to be collaborating with Seven Dials Playhouse to bring this important and vital piece of theatre to an even wider audience in the heart of London’s West End. Following on from the sold out run at the Pleasance, the PlayFight cast and creative team are looking forward to making audiences laugh and cry in equal measure as they follow the twists and turns of best friends Kai, TJ and Zara battling to hold onto their childhood, their friendship and ultimately themselves.
Head of Programming at Seven Dials Playhouse, Steven Kavuma comments, Following a series of critically acclaimed shorter runs around London, we couldn’t be more proud that PlayFight receives its West End debut at Seven Dials Playhouse. Raising important questions about the adultification of young Black men, it’s crucial that we shine a light on these issues, which feel particularly pertinent in the current climate.