A selection of news, print and online features
“Liverpool will premiere a major new play this week as part of a series of celebrations and reflections about the city’s Windrush Generation.
Home from Home has been penned by city-based playwright Marjorie Morgan and looks at the turbulent recent events of the ‘hostile environment’. The play tells the story of a Liverpool woman who enjoys a celebrated career in the NHS but also faces the threat of deportation after being caught up in the Windrush scandal.
It will premiere at Liverpool’s Blackburne House on Friday 28 June as part of a weekend of events aimed at celebrating and recognising the huge contributions made to the city by our Commonwealth members.
Home from Home author Marjorie Morgan said: “I have been writing about Windrush for some time now and this is a story that I thought would both celebrate and show the truth of the reality that some people are stuck in. It is like people have a dual identity, on one hand they are happy to be British and on the other they are not sure if they are British because people are telling them they are not. So this indication what reality is like for many people with a Commonwealth background. We are all Windrush. This affects all of us, it’s about all of us.”
The Empire Windrush was the first of a number of ships that transported British members of the Commonwealth from the Caribbean Islands and across the globe to London and Liverpool in 1948.
More than 70 years on, the city will once again celebrate the newcomers that brought so much with them, through a series of special events.
Liverpool City Council’s Mayoral Lead for Race and Equality, Cllr Anna Rothery, has spearheaded a city-wide project to keep the memory of Windrush alive.”
Home From Home was performed at Blackburne House, Liverpool on 28 June 2019.
President Macron and Cultural Reparations
British colonialism is alive and thriving in the art world. The museums of the UK, and of the Western world, are filled with objects of uncertain provenance. Museum culture ignores the realities and sensitivities of the centuries of illicit trade as they are largely self regulated – they justify retaining their collections by claiming they are ‘universal museums’ that serve the citizens of every nations, not just one nation – this theoretical global access is a western luxury as the citizens of London, Paris, and New York may benefit, but not those of countries like Benin – access is not a global reality.
The British Museum was one of 18 museums who, in 2002, signed released a ‘Declaration on the Importance and Value of Universal Museums,’ as providers of “a valid and valuable context for objects that were long ago displaced from their original source”. This ‘displacement’ is a contested term used by mainly Western museums instead of looting, uncertain provenance, plunder, theft, and extortion. The use of the umbrella term, ‘universal museums’ provides institutions with a defence against the discussion of cultural reparation of objects to the countries of origin.
More from this piece available at: https://blkbld.uk/304PkDP
An extended article will be posted here soon.
Black Excellence – featuring Marjorie H Morgan at BBC Radio Merseyside on Sunday 12 May 2019: the Upfront Show presented by Ngunan Adamu.
Soundcloud link to the Black Excellence segment: http://bit.ly/2MqFdY5
Ngunan Adamu, BBC Upfront Show, BBC Radio Merseyside.
BBC Radio Merseyside, Upfront Show on Sunday 12 May 2019, presented by Ngunan Adamu.
Enigma Stigma – a new play
Enigma Stigma played to a SOLD OUT audience at OUT! Liverpool in February 2019, before appearing for one night (7 March 2019) at UNITY THEATRE, Liverpool in conjunction with Sahir House as part of the World AIDS Day Monologue programme: https://www.facebook.com/events/2191884141064618/
Reviews and feedback stated:
“Enigma Stigma, what a fabulous performance, well done to Marj Morgan and the team, a brilliant performance which complemented the night perfectly.” Sahir House.
“Great play and powerful performance. Congratulations!!” Andy Kerr.
“It’s the most moving, emotional and thought provoking piece of theatre I have ever seen.” Mark K. Cooper.
“Amazing, thoughtful and poetic.” Steve Benson.
Enigma Stigma Scratch Event
A portion of my new play, Enigma Stigma, was shared at the Liverpool Everyman Scratch Morning on 24 November 2018. This event was organised by the Everyman Theatre New Works department to showcase sample sections of new writing in the North West.
Enigma Stigma is a play that was inspired by Duane K Williams, and featured the outstanding acting talents of Nick Sheedy and Liam Powell-Berry.
Audience reviews and feedback:
“It was marvellous.”
“That was fantastic.”
“Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.”
“The quality of the writing is just wonderful. Absolutely wonderful.”
“I can’t wait to see the whole play!”
The full performance should happen in February 2019. Watch this space for updates.
My shortlisted play, Let Them Eat Cake, selected in the THE 15th INTERNATIONAL WINDSOR FRINGE
KENNETH BRANAGH AWARD FOR NEW DRAMA WRITING had its inaugural performance on 10 November 2018 at the Unity Theatre, Liverpool as part of the annual Homotopia Festival.
Audience reviews and feedback:
“It was a wonderful night. Thank you (Marj) and Abbie and Kel for all the hard work and thought you obviously put into it. I hope it’s the beginning of a tradition.” Cheryl Martin, Homotopia Guest Curator
“It was excellent. I thought it was genius. I was really engaged. I was really pulled into it.”
“Lovely night — made my day.”
“It was fantastic.”
“I thought it was really good how you pulled us into the crisis right at the beginning.” Mark Syder
“I like the fact that it was a serious subject but you managed to get some humour into it to relieve the tension.”
“I really enjoyed it … partly the intensity … the staging … the focus is very dynamic.”
“Everybody needs a Stace in their life, it was really well played.”
Throughout November 2018, I am running a series of four workshops at the Harris Museum, in Preston. The first two will focus on genealogy and family history searches specifically for Black Caribbeans. In the final two workshops in November I will teach creative writing techniques to get participants started writing the story that may currently be stuck inside of them.
The inaugural performance of The Thin Red Line took place on 21 October 2018 at Hope Street Theatre, Liverpool.
The Thin Red Line is a play that is a critical and creative response to the UNITED list of refugees deaths – it gives voice to personal stories of people on the list. It is constructed using verbatim words from asylum seekers and refugees who have been confronted by ‘Fortress Europe’.
The inaugural performance was well attended, and a special guest, Geert Ates, the Director of the United List of Refugee Deaths travelled from Amsterdam to watch the play; he said, “We were very happy that we took the decision to visit your play! Impressive, very well done. It boosts our motivation! I hope you manage to show this at schools.“
Other feedback from the audience:
“It had me entranced, hooked and almost in tears. So powerful, so real,”
“A quality piece that doesn’t waste time or energy on getting its message across,”
“Thank you for giving Asylum seekers and refugees a voice!! Amazing,”
“Thought provoking on several levels.”
“I was moved to tears.”
“Congratulations Marj Morgan on another powerful piece of writing.”
Discussions are underway to tour this production.
Updates will be provided on this page in the near future.
** May 2019 Feedback
The Thin Red Line – Long listed for the Upsetters Bunker Theatre Show in June.
“Very powerful verbatim piece about the refugees housed in the bleak Red Road estate in Glasgow. Packs a punch. Songs are a bonus.”
“Art in Liverpool usually writes very outwardly, reflecting on the highs and lows of what’s going on around us, so the upcoming book has been a fascinating opportunity to self-reflect, often very critically of the festival, and its context.
Working with eight of Liverpool’s most exciting writers, the book includes work from Richard Billing, Jessica Fenna, Joanie Magill, Bernadette McBride, Paul McDermott, Marjorie Morgan and Callan Waldron-Hall.”
Liverpool Mental Health Week – October 2018
“This Festival’s final event launches the TranScripts anthology at Museum of Liverpool on 14th October. This features new writing and launches an anthology of work from a creative writing project run by Liverpool Mental Health Consortium … and led by tutor Marjorie Morgan, writer-in-residence for Independent Liverpool Biennial and recently shortlisted for the prestigious Kenneth Branagh Award. “
13 June 2018
I am pleased to share the following press release announcing that I was short-listed for: