Errol John's Moon on a Rainbow Shawl

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Errol John wrote Moon on a Rainbow Shawl (1958) after becoming disillusioned about the lack of good roles for black actors on the British theatre scene. While this situation has only slightly improved since, his play has become the most revived black play in Britain - from its original production at the Royal Court in 1958, to the National Theatre version in 2012. Moon on a Rainbow Shawl depicts the lives of a black community living in poverty in a shared tenement yard in Port of Spain, Trinidad, in the mid 1940s, showing how each of the characters carries dreams of escaping to create better lives for themselves and their families.

This is the first extended analysis of Moon on a Rainbow Shawl, which focuses on how the play articulates the narratives of migration that prompted many Caribbean people to uproot from their homes on the islands and move to England in the postwar period. Through analysis of the play's main themes and production history the book explores the format of the yard play and concerns about migration as experienced differently by gender and generation.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages98
ISBN (Electronic)9781315558615
ISBN (Print)9781138678873
Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2017

Publication series

NameThe Fourth Wall

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