“In my opinion, the purpose of studying history is for us to learn from our predecessors, not judge them for things they may or may not have done in a time very different to ours.”
Essentially Black follows Jess and Lydia, two students at one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Neither are white. Both are trying to be heard.
Jess is leading a campaign to get a statue of Cecil Rhodes removed from campus. Lydia is trying to challenge and decolonise the curriculum they are taught. The debut play from Naomi Denny, Essentially Black takes a look at what happens when race and elite universities collide, and asks who truly has the right to protest in a time where representation and authenticity are being called into question.
After a sell-out run at Camden Fringe 2021, Essentially Black is presented by Ambriel Productions in association with Purple Moon Drama.
This performance contains strong language throughout and some use of racially insensitive language.