iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for Black and White Riot

Sorry, this episode is not currently available on BBC iPlayer Radio

Black and White Riot

Duration:
45 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 28 June 2010

By Edson Burton.

It's April 2nd 1980. Inside the notorious Black and White Cafe in St Paul's, Bristol, local hustler Reagan is drinking whisky and playing dominoes with his friend Carlos. Outside, Reagan's daughter Ross is keeping an eye on her Dad's beloved Cadillac and playing tag and shoot-out with Levi, a Rastafarian, and the 'biggest kid you can imagine'. He's been 'away' for a while and she's delighted to see him back, even though he's a grown up and she's only eleven. To Ross, the 'Black and White' is a place where her Dad is King, and she's a princess. There's always a party going on. But today is going to be different. Today he's going to lose his crown.

The Black and White Cafe in Bristol was notorious (even in Jamaica) as a place where you could buy illegal drink and drugs. The Cafe is the setting for this exciting new play by award-winning playwright Edson Burton which marks thirty years since the St Paul's Riots.

The St Paul's Riots in Bristol were the first in a series of infamous inner-city confrontations between police and mainly Black communities in Britain in the 1980s. Close to the heart of the city centre, yet isolated by poverty and White fear, the tiny parish of St Pauls replicated in concentrated form the forces that ignited those riots, leading the way for Brixton, Handsworth and Toxteth.

In this subtle, exhilarating and revealing play, Edson Burton brings a new perspective to the conventional explanations of police racism, white oppression and poverty as factors in why people rioted that day in Bristol. He tells the story of the Black criminals busy exploiting their own people: the rioters struck out against them too. And many people recall a carnival atmosphere as the police retreated and the looting began.

Cast
Levi.....Alex Lanipekun
Marla.....Endy McKay
Danny.....Marcus Smith
Carlos.....Ricky Fearon
Ross.....Tyra Allen
Reagan.....Jude Akuwideke
Narrator.....Nadia Williams
Police Officer.....Mark Meadows

Written by Edson Burton
Directed by Mary Ward-Lowery.

Broadcasts

Free download

  1. Image for Drama of the Week

    Drama of the Week

    Every Friday we bring you a new drama from Radio 4 or Radio 3. Exercise your imagination with someā€¦

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss