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The Riot Girls - a play by Winsome Pinnock

Date:21 September 2015 to
30 October 2015

The project, currently in development, focuses on the offspring of first generation immigrants from the Caribbean who are, in many ways, a forgotten generation.  The play charts the frustrations, joys and challenges that they faced in the creation of the multi-cultural society that we now take for granted.  Lorna Gayle, on whose story the play is based, is a Lovers’ Rock singer.  The Lovers’ Rock musical genre of the 1970s and 80s was often seen to epitomise a gentler, more feminised version of reggae.  The play also examines the brutality and violence that accompanied the birth of the new British multi-culture.  This brutality is symbolised by the riots that followed the police shooting of Cherry Groce, who happens to be Lorna Gayle’s sister.

The play will be driven by these two tensions.  Its focus is a group of young women, feisty, driven, passionate and transgressive.  These young women may seem like fashion victims with their kilts and crocodile skin shoes, and their rebellious penchant for dipping (pickpocketing), not to mention their obsession with music and the sound systems, but their aim - above all – is to survive long enough to be able carry the message of hope and love (as declared in the most poignant Lovers’ Rock anthems) to the next generation.

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