NEWS: ENG-ER-LAND @ Base Camp/Laurel’s | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Hannah Kumari by Ali Wright

What promises to be an exhilarating and extremely current new play exploring the connection between football and national identity visits the region this month. Written and performed by Hannah Kumari, ENG-ER-LAND blends storytelling, dance and music with 90s nostalgia and tackles head on themes of racism, identity politics, lad culture and working-class masculinity, with productions at Middlesbrough’s Base Camp (Friday 4th-Saturday 5th) and Laurel’s Whitley Bay (Saturday 5th-Sunday 6th March).

Hannah’s very personal story follows her own experience of racism as a football fan and her struggles to be accepted into a historically white, male, working class world. Hannah says: “I wrote ENG-ER-LAND in June 2020 in the wake of the BLM protests and seeing supposed football fans acting in a very aggressive and anti-social way. It made me sad and angry that we are still in this position, and I felt compelled to reflect on my own experiences at football matches as a mixed raced teenager growing up in the 90s, and now as a woman. The play is also an exploration of my mixed-race identity, and the idea of Englishness – what does it mean to be English and who gets to define that? I wanted to write a play that was fun and uplifting, whilst also confronting big issues.”

ENG-ER-LAND is performed at Base Camp, Middlesbrough on Friday 4th-Saturday 5th and Laurel’s Whitley Bay on Saturday 5th-Sunday 6th March.

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