Chiaroscuro by Jackie Kay – 1986


Characters: Aisha, Beth, Opal and Yomi.

Synopsis: The definition of chiaroscuro is – the treatment of light and shade in a drawing or painting. This play follows 4 women of colour ranging from mixed race, asian decent and black. It explores the issues around shadism, how women of colour are treated differently depending on the shade of their skin. ‘If you’re white, you’re alright, if you’re brown stick around, if you’re black stay back’. It explores the loss of the mother tongue, and homosexuality within the black community. Beth and Opal are a couple, Aisha and Yomi are very close friends, Aisha is also good friends with Beth and hosts a dinner for all these women. Things get heated when Yomi expresses that lesbians are unnatural, Aisha tries to mediate but without success.

Available from: National Theatre. 

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