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NEWS: New writer Nicole Botha draws on personal experience in her online play Call Me By My Name, a response to the Black Lives Matter movement

Nicole Botha’s new play Call Me By My Name, being broadcast live from London’s Apple Cart Arts on 21 and 22 October 2020, was written during lockdown and is a direct response to the recent wave in the Black Lives Matter movement.

Inspired to put pen to paper during the Black Lives Matter riots in August this year, South African actress, activist and writer Nicole explained that Call Me By My Name, her professional writing debut, is based on personal experience – a painful story people experience every day.

Nicole Botha said:

“Writing this play is just the start of telling stories that need to be told. I hope it makes the audience sit back and think, then I have done my job well.”

In creating the piece, in which she plays the lead role of Comfort and co-directs alongside Rose Quentin, Nicole has brought together original stories through basslines, script and spoken word.

“You expose more than you exhibit”: How do you take on racism? How do you handle a racist person? Comfort Tshabalala is a twentysomething single on an East London Council estate. She feels stuck in a circle in her office job. The pandemic has left tempers high and ideals exposed. Comfort begins to question if life will ever be the same.

An interaction changes her thoughts on her identity, her features and how she feels about being British. The story reveals the layers of pain and confusion caused by extreme ideals. After picking herself up Comfort decides to seek out the answers, from the person who has hurt her the most.

Not everyone is a bad person but how do you know who is? Why are they bad? What if the people we trust so quickly have concealed beliefs – do we try and change them?

Produced by Peter Morton and presented as part of live streamed festival Dazed New World, one-hour play Call Me By My Name is broadcast on 21 and 22 October 2020 from the Theatre at Apple Cart Arts. Three ticket tiers are available.

Live streamed festival Dazed New World is a festival of narratives which explores some of the most difficult conversations facing our society. It highlights social injustice, inequality and issues of environmental concern, as well as looking at positive future narratives in our world as we evolve post Covid.

(Clockwise) Writer, co-director and actress Nicole Botha, cast members Sabira Stanisavljevic and Joseph O’Gorman and co-director Rose Quentin


Nicole Botha (Comfort) is a South African actress, activist and writer. A graduate from Kent School of Acting, Arts Educational Schools London and the London School of Musical Theatre in 2019. Nicole specialises in spoken word poetry and is launching a collective for minority actresses in 2021. Credits include: Anne in Alternative (KSA), Iago in Othello at the Gulbenkian Theatre, Joanne Jefferson in RENT at the Theatre Royal Margate, The Countess in Grand Hotel at the Bridewell Theatre,

Sabira Stanisavljevic (Becky). London born and raised, Sabira has trained under theatre actor Laurence Mitchell and at Identity School of Acting. Her journey into acting is relatively recent, having only started training in 2016, but her desire to work on projects that explore complex relationships as well as shine a light on how socio-economic situations affect the people around us, has allowed her to work consistently in theatre and TV. As well as an actor, Sabira is also a writer whose first film is due for release at the end of 2020.

Joseph O’Gorman (The Guy) is a graduate of the RADA Youth Company, National Youth Theatre and the London School of Musical Theatre. Previous credits include: Ferdinand in The Tempest (RADA Youth) and Ensemble in Every Brilliant Thing (NYT) and Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Sheldonian Theatre. Plus Lee in Motortown, Theseus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Grand Hotel at the Bridewell Theatre, while at the LSMT. Joseph’s professional credits include Tom Brown’s School Days at the Union Theatre and National Youth Theatre’s digital showcase of its new production, Melt.

Rose Quentin (Co-director) trained at the London School of Musical Theatre. Professional credits include: Tinker for BBC1’s Doctors, Betty in Sky’s Little Crackers, Bevvy in ITV’s Doc Martin, Mermaid in Peter Pan at the Northcott Theatre, Anna in Grand Hotel, Bridewell Theatre and the short film Juels, playing Sister Marie. She also played Penelope in a reading of Jim Cartwright play Many Happy Returns.

from News, Reviews and Features – My Theatre Mates

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