Coming To England
Floella Benjamin’s COMING TO ENGLAND has become a classic since it was first published in 1995 and republished in 2016. The award-winning book is used as a resource in schools in social and cross-curricular areas. It was adapted into a film by BBC Education.
COMING TO ENGLAND is an inspirational true story about a young girl leaving Trinidad for England in 1960, one of a generation of West Indians encouraged to move to Britain to help rebuild the country after the Second World War. But Floella discovered that her ‘mother country’ was not as welcoming as she had expected. She suffered racism and intolerance. She learned that the only way to survive and to be accepted was to work twice as hard as anyone else. The book follows her difficult and courageous journey towards becoming a television favourite and a successful business woman. Since 2010, when she was appointed to the House of Lords, the hard-working Baroness Benjamin of Beckenham has fought to improve the lives of children, championing the arts and her goal – ‘diversity nirvana’.
David Wood, ‘the national children’s dramatist’ (The Times) now aims to adapt Floella’s iconic book for the stage. He believes the show will attract school parties as well as family groups, with its vibrant, colourful and tuneful storytelling, using Floella’s story to encourage an awareness of the rich history and diversity of the British people, and to promote tolerance and understanding throughout our whole community. Both funny and moving, warm yet uncompromising, joyous and sad, thoughtful yet uplifting, the show will aim to give children an exciting theatrical experience, while at the same time teaching them some important history lessons and making them aware that this land, our home, belongs to all our citizens.
Floella and David first enjoyed working together in the 1970s, performing on television in PLAY AWAY and LAY ON FIVE. David now hopes to create an important piece of theatre from Floella’s classic book.