'The Gay Ghost of North Woolwich Pier' was written in 2021 and was then produced and broadcast on No Bounds Radio the following winter. It broadcast to a tiny audience of less than 100 and the feedback from close friends (the only feedback there was) seemed positive.
Since then, a couple of potential creative connections with black and brown artists have silently slipped away, and the resulting anxiety has made me reflect on this peice, and how it would feel to be black and to hear it. Despite the anti-racist stance of the play, I could not imagine that it would feel good. And so I have decided to take it down.
The play fails in several ways. It fails by telling a story of a queer black man and the violence he endured through a white lens. The fact that Jide never really has a voice of his own has always bothered me and I felt at the time the way to handle it was to give it the gravity it deserves and the characters the complexity they deserve. I reassured myself that my characters were not caricatures, they were three-dimensional and I felt love and affection for them. However, in the production I played all 4 characters, and I think my rushed and unstudied attempt at MLE resulted in a form of Aural Blackface. And if I am really honest, even in the writing I did not do my black characters justice, there is a little distance there that must be closed.
If this is a story that deserves to be told, it is not enough on its own, and I am not enough on my own to tell it.
For anyone who has listened to this story and felt the deep historical pain of racism, I'm sorry.
Jugular Malloy, December 2023
For the sake of transparency I do want the script to be available, but I'm removing it until I've added this statement to the document itself.