"There's no space for you here"

  • Rebecca Magson

As a white woman in theatre, I understand that I am automatically given some privileges when it comes to opportunity, and the way I am treated in lecture halls/school performances etc. For some, however, this is a struggle that engulfs their entire educational career when wanting pursue a life in the theatre.

For Eno Mfon, this struggle was present in her studies.

Mfon is a 2016 Graduate of Bristol University in the UK, and her passion was in script writing. However, when a lecturer told her there's "no space for black theatre makers" on the curriculum, it could have completely diminished her passion for writing. But of course it didn't. Because, she's great.

In her own words, "you spend three years learning about Chekhov and Carol Ann Duffy but then realise you can write your own stuff for lil black girls and so you do that," (@byenomfon, Instagram). Her first production sold out at the Bristol Old Vic, and better yet, the same lecturer who brought her down bought a ticket to see her show. Too bad there was barely any space for him in that theatre, ey?

eno.jpg

Unfortunately, her story is not the only one. Across the globe, there are many POC/women who are told that they don't fit into the industry they want to be a part of, that they should be a part of. Like in my directing class, when a guy told the predominantly female room that "women should only direct romances because they're emotional", and that "men are natural born leaders". There have been so so SO many women creatives (like Eno) who have made films/scripts of pure excellence, that are shut down due to being women, or due to being a POC.

Just because somebody is loud, does not mean they are right. It's not about trying to shout over the top of the people who are drowning out your voice. It's about knocking them out of the way with grace, slamming your work on the table and saying "look at what I can do!"

Y'know, because there's space for you.