Young Othello - a New Play

£2,143 of £5,000 goal

Raised by 65 people in 30 months
The new play Young Othello by the historian Onyeka has been released this year.

Young Othello is a tragedy set within a prosperous ancient African kingdom untouched by slavery or colonialism. As the story unfolds, greed, jealousy and the thirst for power bring about the destruction of a nation and provide us with a deeper understanding of the conflicted but enigmatic character Othello.

Young Othello explores the natural and the mystical world throughout as a guide or adversary, to highlight human strength and weakness, and emphasise the uncontrollable passage of time.  

Through the use of his poetic style of writing and vast knowledge of this period of history, Onyeka has written a play that will enthral audiences and challenge our perceptions of self, society and race.

Onyeka is the author of Blackamoores: Africans in Tudor England, their Presence, Status and Origins. This research challenges the hegemonic white washing of British History and examines the presence of Blacks in Renaissance Europe with a focus on Tudor England. Methodically researched and supported by well-cited facts and primary documents Blackamoores: Africans in Tudor England, breaks new ground in exploring the history of the African Diaspora.


Onyeka was recently a panellist on the RSC debate ‘Is Othello a Racist Play?’ alongside Lucian Msamati (playing Iago) and Hugh Quarshie (playing Othello). This debate highlighted the need for further discussion on race and politics in the theatre. It also emphasised the need to include the African contribution to world history in theatre and film to provide an authenticity which, until now, has been lacking.


This research and Onyeka’s thorough understanding of this period of history brings an insight to the character of Othello and the socio-political issues of this era that have not been explored on stage or on-screen before. Onyeka’s new play, as with Blackamoores: Africans in Tudor England, is an essential piece of work as it challenges our preconceived ideas about race and identity and provides a narrative for African people which has been lost or distorted throughout history and continues to be misrepresented.

Our aim is for this play and research to be more accessible to BAME students and actors, as well as the general public. We are raising funds to conduct a dramatic read-through this year to celebrate the launch of Young Othello. The funds will be used on travel, actors, rehearsal spaces and marketing.

“A truly fascinating piece that brings myth and history together to challenge our understanding of the stories Shakespeare tells about us”

Professor Tony Howard, University of Warwick

Narrative Eye is an organisation dedicated to promoting equality and social change through education.  We are dedicated to the production and promotion of creative works that document and challenge the inequalities and injustices faced by African and African Caribbean people in the UK.

We promote the rich cultural and historical contribution made by people of African origin in the UK, through publishing literary works and research, producing plays and films. Our work also includes delivering courses, workshops and seminars on topics such as history, literature, and cultural and social issues.

We are committed to creating new and creative ways that enables African and African Caribbean people to participate fully in society and increase their social mobility, prosperity and employability. We are committed toraising the level of cultural awareness amongst Black Britons to enable them to overcome their social exclusion.

We have produced three novels including, Waiting to Explode, The Black Prince, and The Phoenix (which won the 2009 African Achievers award for Communication and Media).  Our writer in residence is the historian and international researcher Onyeka.  He has also produced The Whirlwind and the Storm, a West End theatre production about the life and times of Marcus Garvey. In 2013, Onyeka released his latest work, Blackamoores: Africans in Tudor England, their Presence, Status and Origins.

The Freedom Project (2007)
 Mother Tongue (2008)
 The Black Poppy Project (2009-present)
 Beyond Black History Month (2010)
 UNIA Blue Plaque (2011)
 Born British (2012 - present)
 African Tudors in England (2013- present)
 African Tudors in the Curriculum campaign (2013 - present)
 The Empire Needs Men (2014 - present)

We provide tailor-made workshops to the specific needs of beneficiaries. We have presented work to a wide and diverse range of audiences. The majority of our educational work has been with participants from socially deprived communities across the UK with a high proportion of Black residents.
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£2,143 of £5,000 goal

Raised by 65 people in 30 months
Created June 18, 2016
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