Nottinghamshire writer Mufaro Makubika has won the 2017 Alfred Fagon award for best new play by a black British playwright.
His award-winning play, Shebeen, which centres on Nottingham’s Caribbean community in the late 1950s, will have its world premiere at Nottingham Playhouse in June.
Mufaro said: “Shebeen is a play about the place I live – St Ann’s in Nottingham. It’s about the community of St Ann’s, and a history that you might not know, but I felt it was important to shine a light on.”
Mufaro, who was born in Zimbabwe and came to England when he was 16, fell in love with the theatre after seeing his first play at the age of 18.
Set in the hot, humid summer of 1958 when tempers are flaring and Teddy Boys are on the march, Shebeen is inspired by Mufaro’s family and neighbours, and is about a community under siege and the sacrifices people make for love.
Stephanie Sirr, chief executive of Nottingham Playhouse, which commissioned Mufaro’s award-winning play, said: “We have been working with Mufaro for a number of years now including premiering his first full length play, How to Breathe, in the Neville Studio at Nottingham Playhouse in 2015.
“We are pleased to present Shebeen, Mufaro’s first main stage production at Nottingham Playhouse, before it enjoys a run at Theatre Royal Stratford East. Receiving the award is a marvellous achievement and we are very proud of Mufaro.”
Mufaro was presented with his award by screenwriter and director Amma Asante at a ceremony at the National Theatre in London. Named after esteemed black British playwright Alfred Fagon, the award is given to a new play by a writer of Caribbean or African descent who is resident in the UK.
Shebeen can be seen at Nottingham Playhouse from June 1-18. For more, see www.nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk
Photo credit for picture of Mufaro Makubika: Robert Day