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Beadle-Blair Stages Shalom Baby at TRSE, 25 Oct

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Award-winning writer and director Rikki Beadle-Blair will return to the Theatre Royal Stratford East this autumn with his new play Shalom Baby which explores topics including black survivors of the holocaust.

Shalom Baby, which runs from 25 October (previews from 20 October) to 19 November 2011, uses humour to explore issues of racism and homosexuality set against a backdrop of 1930s Berlin as well as travelling to the present day.

The comedy-drama is a love story, initially set within the vibrant backdrop of Berlin at the rise of the Nazis and the onslaught of the Second World War. Events unfold as the daughter of a wealthy Jewish family falls in love with their black ‘Shabbes Goy’ – an individual who assists Jews on the Sabbath with tasks forbidden within Jewish law.

Beadle-Blair's previous Theatre Royal Stratford East credits include Bashment in 2005, and again with Familyman in 2008. He is known for his work on challenging homophobia. His other works include the film Stonewall, the play FIT and Sony Award-winning radio documentary The Roots of Homophobia.

When creating the piece, Beadle-Blair became aware of a noticeable lack of information about black survivors of the holocaust. He was initially motivated to write Shalom Baby during a trip to the United States and has subsequently traveled to Berlin to extensively research what leads, facts and legacies exist.

The results have been woven into what is billed as a "colourful, transatlantic story exploring issues of racism and sexuality". In typical Beadle-Blair style, the piece approaches its issues with warmth and observational humour.

- Katherine Graham


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