‘Free From The White Gaze’: London Play Featuring ‘Game Of Thrones’ Star Invites Black-Only Audience
Mike Smith/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

A London play starring “Game of Thrones” star Kit Harrington will host two performances where only black audience members, or those identifying as black, will be permitted to view the play, “free from the white gaze.”

“Slave Play,” which received 12 Tony nominations in 2021, but won no awards, will run at the Noël Coward theater in London’s West End from June 29 to September 21 and feature performances on July 17 and September 17 with “Black Out nights.”

“Blackout nights are the purposeful creation of an environment in which an all-Black-identifying audience can experience and discuss an event in the performing arts, film, athletic and cultural spaces — free from the white gaze,” the theater noted.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s office released a statement saying, “The prime minister is a big supporter of the arts and he believes that the arts should be inclusive and open to everyone, particularly where those arts venues are in receipt of public funding. Restricting audiences on the basis of race would be wrong and divisive.”

“I understand the subject matter of the show may have particular resonance for some but would simply question the legality of this? In other circles it would be illegal and racial discrimination. I don’t understand why this isn’t,” one member of Parliament told The Daily Mail.

The play’s producers told The BBC the “intent is to celebrate the play with the widest possible audience. We want to increase accessibility to theatre for everyone.”

“The Broadway production conceived of Black Out nights and we are carefully considering how to incorporate this endeavour as part of two performances in our 13-week run. We will release further details soon. To be absolutely clear, no-one will be prevented or precluded from attending any performance of Slave Play.”

Playwright Jeremy O. Harris told BBC Sounds:

One of the things we have to remember is that people have to be radically invited into a space to know that they belong there and in most places in the west, poor people and black people have been told that they do not belong inside the theatre… For me, as someone who wants and yearns for black and brown people to be in the theatre, who comes from a working class environment, who wants people who do not make six figures to feel like theatre is a place for them, it is a necessity to radically invite them in with initiatives that say “you’re invited.” Specifically you.


“There are a litany of places in our country that are generally only inhabited by white people, and nobody is questioning that, and nobody is saying that by inviting black audiences here you are uninvited,” he continued. “The idea of a Black Out night is to say this is a night that we are specifically inviting black people to fill up the space, to feel safe with a lot of other black people in a place where they often do not feel safe.”

The play itself focuses on three modern-day interracial couples who attempt to mend tensions in their relationships by engaging in “antebellum sexual-performance therapy,” according to The New Yorker. The black characters in the play no longer experience pleasure in their relationships with their white partners and attempt to recapture it through the racially-charged sexual roleplaying.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  ‘Free From The White Gaze’: London Play Featuring ‘Game Of Thrones’ Star Invites Black-Only Audience