‘I was a storm. I was also a man entirely alone in a storm. There were forces beyond my control and I was one of them.’
1968. Midlands MP Enoch Powell has something to say. Something he feels needs to be said. Something that could divide Britain forever.
1992. Rose Cruickshank, a black Oxford academic, wants answers. Powell’s ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech, with its controversial words about immigration, shattered her childhood and now she is driven to confront both the man who made the speech and her own troubled identity. Will a meeting with Enoch resolve the conflicts that are tearing her – and the country – apart?
Chris Hannan’s powerful play, What Shadows, is a searing look at identity and immigration within a bitterly divided country. It premiered at Birmingham Repertory Theatre in 2016, in a production directed by Roxana Silbert and starring Ian McDiarmid as Enoch Powell. The play was revived at the Royal Lyceum Edinburgh in 2017, before transferring to Park Theatre, London.