Arriving from Northern Stage in Newcastle with some great reviews in tow, Natalie Ibu’s spikey staging of the European premiere of Claudia Rankine’s play about race, art and privilege is likely to generate conversation between theatre-goers. In fact the play itself takes the form of two conversations separated by a year. In the first scene, rising black artist Charlotte, is patronised and discomforted by a family of white wealthy art collectors when she is invited to dinner in order to persuade her to sell them her art. The second riffs further as white privilege, how we look and what we see and fail to see are examined. Talky theatre, but by all accounts, never dull.
The White Card poses the question: can society progress when whiteness remains invisible? Written in 2019 during an increasingly racially divided America and before the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests rippled across the globe, a wealthy, privileged white couple invite a talented Black artist to dinner. Tensions run high and a heated debate uncovers some uncomfortable truths that can’t be ignored about white privilege, cultural appropriation and representation. Be an ally, be in the room, be in the conversation. The White Card invites us to all to play our part in the debate. Age Recommendation: 14+