Censored script of Moon on a Rainbow Shawl by Errol John

Description

Trinidadian-born Errol John won the Observer’s prize for Best New Playwright with Moon on a Rainbow Shawl in 1957. It was given its London premiere at the Royal Court theatre the following year. Frustrated by a lack of roles, one of John’s purposes for writing the play was to provide greater opportunities for Black actors.

The play is set in a Port of Spain backyard after World War Two and focuses on Ephraim’s desire to escape the hopelessness of colonial society, even when this means putting his grandmother in the poorhouse and leaving behind his pregnant girlfriend Rosa.

Full title:
Lord Chamberlain's Plays: Moon on a Rainbow Shawl, by Errol John
Format:
Manuscript / Manuscript annotation / Playscript / Typescript
Creator:
Lord Chamberlain's Office
Usage terms

© Extracts from Playscript of Moon on a Rainbow shawl by Errol John reprinted by permission of Peters Fraser & Dunlop (www.petersfraserdunlop.com) on behalf of the Estate of Errol John. Except as otherwise permitted by your national copyright laws this material may not be copied or distributed further.

Lord Chamberlain's Office: © Crown Copyright. This material has been published under an Open Government Licence.

Held by
British Library
Shelfmark:
LCP 1958/45 lic no.1375

Related articles

Migration stories in Errol John’s Moon on a Rainbow Shawl

Article by:
Lynette Goddard
Themes:
The arrivants, Authors, artists and activists

Set in Trinidad, Moon on a Rainbow Shawl centres on a group of characters contemplating migration or other ways of leaving their shared tenement yard. Lynette Goddard examines the play’s setting, offstage spaces and the contrasting ambitions and perspectives of men and women.

Migration stories in Errol John’s Moon on a Rainbow Shawl

Article by:
Lynette Goddard
Themes:
20th-century theatre, Exploring identity, Capturing and creating the modern, Gender and sexuality

Set in Trinidad, Moon on a Rainbow Shawl centres on a group of characters contemplating migration or other ways of leaving their shared tenement yard. Lynette Goddard examines the play’s setting, offstage spaces and the contrasting ambitions and perspectives of men and women.

Black British theatre: 1950–1979

Article by:
Natasha Bonnelame
Theme:
Authors, artists and activists

Postwar migration to Britain from Africa and the Caribbean led to the development of black British theatre in the 1950s. Natasha Bonnelame introduces several of the most important black playwrights of the period, including Errol John and Wole Soyinka and describes the contexts in which their plays were staged.

Related collection items

Related people

Related works

Moon on a Rainbow Shawl

Created by: Errol John

Moon on a Rainbow Shawl (1958) overview Moon on a Rainbow Shawl is a play by Trinidadian actor, playwright and ...