J'Ouvert will be broadcast as part of BBC's Lights Up Season

12 March 2021


Today, BBC Arts announced new commissions of plays adapted for TV and radio as part of their Lights Up Season.

New TV plays include Yasmin Joseph’s J’Ouvert, winner of the James Tait Black Drama Prize, produced by Sonia Friedman Productions and filmed at the Harold Pinter Theatre where it plays as part of SFP’s RE:EMERGE season; and Orpheus in the Record Shop, a collaboration between Opera North and Leeds Playhouse, adapted for the screen. J’Ouvert was first produced at Theatre503 in a co-production with Bad Breed and Tobi Kyeremateng.

Sonia Friedman said, “It’s been a year since we shut theatres across the country, and we are all – actors and audiences alike – craving its return in line with the government’s roadmap. As our theatres re-open and performances restart, we will cherish the live experience like never before. But we shouldn’t overlook the extraordinary innovations and collaborations that have sprung up in its absence this year, bringing theatre to audiences around the world in striking new digital forms. Initiatives like the BBC Lights Up season will benefit our art-form and our audiences far into the future, and I’m delighted that Yasmin Joseph’s remarkable debut play J’Ouvert – a centrepiece of our forthcoming RE:EMERGE season of new plays for a new world – will be a key part of it.

J’Ouvert – which translates as ‘Opening of the Day’ – is a celebration of the first day of Notting Hill Carnival, and its broadcast by the BBC will testify to the diverse range of communities which have missed out on significant cultural events and the potential for performance and playfulness to enrich all of our lives. It is vital in the truest sense: live and alive.”