Twice Over

Company Name: Gay Sweatshop Theatre Company 
Writer: Jackie Kay
Director: Nona Shepphard
Cast: Adjoa Andoh, Pamela Lane, Thelma Lawson, Amanda Martin, Mary Ellen Ray, Cleo Syvestre
Designer: Kate Owen

Twice Over by Jackie Kay. A 17 year old Black girl gets to know her grandmother after she has died. Through photographs and flashbacks she discovers her grandmother’s concealed secrets and gets to know herself better. The play deals with school-age girls discovering lesbianism.

The play was originally received a grant and was commissioned by Theatre Centre, one of the countries leading TIE companies, but there was a dispute within the company as to whether the play was racist or not and the production was shelved. The play was later taken up and produced in 1988 by Gay Sweatshop after being first read as part of their Times Twelve Festival in 1987. It was the first Gay Sweatshop play by a Black writer and helped to raise the profile of the women’s company.

‘Sinister and subversive’ was the description of the company by leader of a Tory group in Bristol.

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