Dinner In The Village

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20111004Tensions between two famous bi-racial couples are made worse when the women challenge their men, immigration officials come knocking and husbands show that they are not to be trusted.|In 1940's Greenwich Village, Trinidadian activist and author, CLR James, introduces his friend the African American novelist, Richard Wright, to a young white Californian girl called Constance whom he met at a political lecture.|He becomes her mentor and he also asks Richard Wright's wife Ellen, (who is from a Polish background), to teach Constance how to be the kind of woman he needs.|Over the course of many dinners at one of the few restaurants that serve mixed race couples in New York's Greenwich Village, the four talk and discuss problems.|Would Paris offer more freedom than hostile Manhattan? How should wives of writers better serve their husbands?|Is the problem for the women being wives of coloured men or is being the wives of writers? And how to work through rifts that are developing between them as friends.|We are left wondering how difficult it is to hold together any marriage - but those between powerful men and women who 'serve' them are particularly difficult, without factoring in the racial element.|This is a story about developing friendships and how the dynamics between a foursome can change.|How hard it is to trust friends and then to forgive.|The play is recorded in New York where Caryl Phillips lives.|Caryl Phillips met and corresponded with these literary giants and their wives.|It's a play that he has wanted to write for a long time.|Cast:|Richard Wright - Neil Dawson|CLR James - Andre Blake|Constance - Jennifer Van Dyck|Ellen - Lauren McCord|Gloria - Anne Bobby|Interviewer - Tom Datnow|FBI man - Moti Margolin|Waitress - Sydney Beveridge|Technical Production: Peregrine Andrews|Producer: Judith Kampfner|A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.|Caryl Phillips new play about the writers CLR James and Richard Wright and their marriages