‘I remember when we didn’t need glass for protection, fair enough it’s a safety measure but you’re shutting yourself off from your own community.’
Naseem is the proud owner of the African Queen Beauty Salon. Determined to make a success of the business, she delays locking up her shop one night for a final appointment, but the customer – an unruly teenager – wants more from Naseem than a haircut. In the offices of Tabs Cabs, radio operator Grace is one of the first to hear about the violence spreading through the neighbourhood. Alone in the taxi firm’s office, behind a door that doesn’t lock, Grace just wants to remain unnoticed until things calm down. Then a man walks in and demands a hammer…
These Four Streets is a collaboration between six writers, Naylah Ahmed, Sonali Bhattacharyya, Jennifer Farmer, Lorna French, Amber Lone and Cheryl Akila Payne. Inspired by meetings and interviews with local people who were connected to or affected by the Lozells riots of 2005, the play explores the power of rumour and what it feels like to live in a place that everybody else has given up on. It is the story of a divided community and of the people brave enough to reach across that divide.
“Here are writers attempting to unite and mend a community.” - The Independent
“...the 80 minutes are over too soon.” - The Times
Commissioned and produced by Birmingham Rep, These Four Streets was directed by Gwenda Hughes for its 2009 première at Birmingham Rep and its Midlands tour.