Challenging perception by performance

An award-winning playwright is bringing his acclaimed production about multi-racial Britain to Birmingham.

Award-winning writer Adam Hughes’ latest play True Colours is at the Crescent on 1st & 2nd November. The play tells the story of Albert, a proud Yorkshireman who believes that his community is changing and not for the better – in particular the increasing Asian population. These prejudice views are further fuelled by the fact that his wife died of a heart attack after being mugged by an Asian man. However, Albert’s stubborn views are suddenly challenged when he suffers from a fall and receives home help in the form of Janade, a young Pakistani nurse.

True Colours addresses racial prejudice, ignorance, and what it truly means to be British in modern society. It aims to make its audience question their own prejudices and consider why such issues still exist in a diverse and multicultural nation. As Adam states “In modern Britain, two cultures can live in the same area or even on the same street, without ever interacting with one another. For some reason, people like to shy away from things that they don’t considered to be ‘the norm’. For me that’s why a lot of ignorance exists in the UK”.

However, the play is not dismissive of such ‘ignorance’ but rather wants to understand both sides of the argument in a fresh attempt at tackling racism. Adam continues: “I bet that most people, like Albert, would be surprised to find that those people and cultures that are apparently so far apart from their own, actually aren’t that different after all. Yet very few receive that opportunity”

Alongside the play’s performance, the cast and crew are also holding workshops at The Drum as a means of tackling the themes that the play evokes. These sessions plan to use theatre (specifically scenes from the play) as a safe platform for Muslims, Asians, and any other persons interested, to discuss racial and Islamic prejudice, why it exists, their own experiences, and what we can do as a community to overcome this. The sessions will be held on 2nd November and will be run by Adam and a leading member of the participating organisations. Admission to the workshops is free, but booking a place is essential. For more information, including times and transportation (which is provided) please contact Adam via email at or tweet him @adhugheswriter.

True Colours will be Adam’s first feature length play to tour the UK and has been funded by Leeds Inspired and Arts Council England. In 2011, he won the ISFO short script competition and has been shortlisted for several others internationally. His last project, the critically acclaimed LGBT drama ‘Gatecrasher’, has gone on to be accepted at film festivals worldwide and won a Jury Award in Berlin. So how did he find writing about such a different, yet controversial, topic with his current project? “As a writer, you write about whatever interests you at that particular time’ he states. ‘The great thing about True Colours is that not only is it (hopefully) making an impact on stage but also off it. If we can make people look at racial and Islamic prejudice and question the attitudes around them then it will have been a success.”