‘We talkin’ about life. We talkin’ about being treated as equals. We talkin’ about not being shot down in the streets and motherfuckers gettin’ off scot-free.’
Lynchburg, Virginia, on the former site of a cotton mill. Fourteen-year-old Ruffrino is struggling to make sense of his place in an impoverished world filled with seemingly random killings of young black men. As his anger towards reality grows, he moves further away from his family. Losing himself online, Ruffrino’s world sinks around him while he battles to wake up the zombies and prove by any means necessary that Black Lives Matter.
Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm’s play Br’er Cotton was first seen at Kitchen Dog Theatre, Texas, in 2017, and received its UK premiere at Theatre503, London, in 2018. It was shortlisted for both the Theatre503 Playwriting Award 2016 and the Relentless Award, and won the 2019 Off-West End Award for Best New Play.
‘Bold, brave and very, very funny… an important play, and a great one, that will leave audiences thinking for a long time’
‘An ambitious play [with] fiery dialogue, surging metaphors and questions about progress… astute about current battles around race, identity and the thunderous burden of history’
— Evening Standard
‘Remarkable play… as current as this morning. Powerful and passionate. Builds in power throughout the show, surging to a stunning climax’
— Theatre Notes
‘Acutely contemporary… an intricate consideration of the complexities of present-tense race relations’
‘Powerful… Chisholm’s writing is light and naturalistic when it needs to be but also shot through with knotty and impassioned poetry’
— Time Out
‘A bold new voice’
— The Stage
Best New Play, Off-West End Awards