Graveyard Gang comes to Poplar Union this party season
To coincide with this year’s party season, Purple Moon Drama has commissioned Lakesha Arie-Angelo’s play Graveyard Gang. This timely piece is set over 24 hours on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Founder and Director of Purple Moon, Cheryl May Ndione, is here to tell us about more about the project…
Graveyard Gang is about grief, friendship and community. I saw the story at a scratch night by Tamasha Theatre and I immediately thought that this would be a play I’d like to produce for young audiences. The characters are fresh and relatable. They’re processing some difficult emotions and this galvanises them into being active members of the community.
Our aim is to take this play out into unconventional theatre spaces. I’d like to see it tour to community centres and school halls. We are keen to bring the work to the people we set out to reflect. As a company, we are primarily concerned with creating work for new theatre audiences.
Purple Moon Drama is a weekly programme of rehearsals and workshop sessions. We produce one show a year with a new cohort or aspiring creatives. It provides performance and training opportunities for 16 to 29-year-olds. The company stands for diversity, creativity and growth. We like to make stuff happen with dedicated energy and positive intentions. We are an ambitious organisation and exist to provide a platform for emerging talent and to contribute to the exciting canon of work coming out of London at the moment.
Graveyard Gang looks at how we can influence not only the course of our own lives but also the broader community and environments we inhabit if we choose to engage with the adversity we face.
Brace yourselves for some humour, some darkness and some familiar characters enjoying the spotlight.
THE THEATRE COMPANY
I founded Purple Moon Drama in 2014. After graduating from The University of Bristol with a degree in Drama, I went on to work at some of London’s most prestigious creative organisations such as The National Theatre, Channel 5 Broadcasting and the Arcola Theatre. Feeling stifled by the lack of opportunity to flourish creatively, I went to study for an MA in Applied Theatre at the Central School of Speech and Drama and have continued to work in youth theatre settings ever since.
I recognised a woeful lack of meaningful opportunities in the acting space for early career black female actors such as myself, but also a surprising dearth of stories that are truly reflective of the rich makeup of today’s society. It was this that led me to form Purple Moon Drama, an inclusive, progressive and socially conscious youth theatre company in the heart of East London.
“We set out to produce meaningful work. That’s it.” – Cheryl Ndione