Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile…

Don’t worry, it’s not as grim as you might think. In fact, this new stage adaptation of Adelle Stripe’s book recounts the brief life of the celebrated playwright Andrea Dunbar.

The play is being produced by Freedom Studios and has been adapted by award-winning screenwriter Lisa Holdsworth (Ackley Bridge, Waterloo Road and Call the Midwife).

Bradford-based Freedom Studios is an award-winning intercultural theatre company, which connects different people and communities through powerful theatre. Their previous site-specific productions include The Mill – City of Dreams. 

The play explores the life of Andrea Dunbar, acclaimed writer of Rita, Sue, and Bob Too. She was raised on the Buttershaw council estate in Bradford, one of eight siblings. Her first play, The Arbor, which premiered at the Royal Court in London when she was just 18, originated as a CSE English assignment. According to one tabloid newspaper at the time, Dunbar was ‘a genius straight from the slums’. Tragically she died of a brain haemorrhage in 1990 aged just 29.

Author Adelle Stripe said: “I am absolutely delighted that Freedom Studios will be adapting my novel, transforming Andrea Dunbar’s story from the page to stage. Lisa Holdsworth is one of the region’s most respected screenwriters and is a loyal and outspoken supporter of Andrea’s work. I couldn’t think of a better person to adapt Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile.”

Playwright Lisa Holdsworth added: “It is both a great pleasure and privilege to be writing this play. It will not only be a celebration of the life, work and unique spirit of Andrea Dunbar, but also of Adelle Stripe’s extraordinary book which brings out Andrea’s humour and bravery.”

Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile, will open at The Ambassador in Bradford from the 30 May-8 June and then tour until the 27 June including performances at Cast, Doncaster and Oldham Coliseum.

Casting is yet to be announced, but watch this space!

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