Lynette Linton and Team Angelica, in association with Arcola Creative Engagement present #Hashtag Lightie.
There will be a question and answer session after each show, and an education pack is also available to download from the Arcola website.

Ella is popular, addicted to social media, Queen of the Selfie, and mixed race. Her thriving YouTube channel has make up tips, opinions, and videos of her boisterous family. But after one of her videos goes viral, Ella finds herself in the centre of a social media storm that leads to a family meltdown. With her identity and perception of beauty challenged, can Ella promote self-love without fueling hate?

Writer Lynette Linton (Associate Director, The Gate Theatre) and director Rikki Beadle-Blair MBE (Team Angelica, Theatre Royal Stratford East) join forces for a heart-warming and hilarious exploration of the conflicting ideas of what it means to be mixed race in Britain today.

Director, Rikki Beadle-Blair MBE says: “Lynette, the wonderchild, has pulled off that magic trick that every writer dreams of: a funny and moving play with timeless themes of identity and belonging that screams ‘Right Now’. I had to direct this. It demanded my heart and soul.”

The full cast is: Devon Anderson, Grace Cookey-Gam, Adele James, Sophia Leonie, John Omole and Jamie Richards.

Lynette Linton (Writer, Producer) – director and playwright trained on the StoneCrabs Young Directors Course where she was also awarded the Jack Petchy award. She is also co-founder of production company Black Apron Entertainment and the current Associate Director of the Gate Theatre, where she will be directing, Assata Taught Me by Kalungi Ssebandeke in May 2017.

  • Writing credits include: Step (rehearsed reading, and school tour, Theatre Royal Stratford East); Service (Boom Festival, Bush Theatre); Chicken Palace (Theatre Royal Stratford East); which she also co-directed, and Ergo Sum (Theatre Deli).
  • Directing credits include: Indenture (Dark Horse Festival); The Rally (Rehearsed Reading, Theatre Royal Stratford East); Assata: She Who Struggles (5 minute play at The Young Vic); Sweet Like Chocolate, Boy (Scratch performance, Rich Mix); Step Nine (Rehearsed reading, Theatre Royal Stratford East); Naked (Vault Festival 2015); Pornado (Theatre Royal Stratford East); This Wide Night (Albany Theatre); Stunted (Rehearsed Reading, Theatre Royal Stratford East) and co-director on Chicken Palace (R&D, and full show, Theatre Royal Stratford East).
  • As Assistant Director: Gutted (Theatre Royal Stratford East); Image of An Unknown Young Woman and The Christians (Gate Theatre); Live Lunch’s A View from the Moon, and Torn (Royal Court).

Rikki Beadle-BlairMBE (Director) – Named fourth in this year’s rainbow list of the UK’s hundred most influential LGBT+ people, Rikki Beadle-Blair  is a writer, director, composer, choreographer, designer, producer and performer. He has won several awards including the Sony Award, the Los Angeles Outfest Screenwriting and Outstanding Achievement awards. In 2016 he was made an MBE (Member of the British Empire) by HRH Queen Elizabeth II.

His projects include several feature films and TV series, including Blackbird starring Oscar- winning actress, Mo’nique; Stonewall for the BBC; Metrosexuality for Channel 4; Noah’s Arc for MTV LOGO, and FIT, KickOff and Bashment for his own company, Team Angelica. He is one of the creative directors of the Visionary Youth Project for young European Film Activists. Rikki also works extensively in theatre and has written 28 plays in the last decade that have been performed at Theatre Royal Stratford East, the Bush Theatre, the Soho Theatre, the Tristan Bates Theatre and the Contact Theatre in Manchester. Rikki is a committed mentor to many writers, actors, composers and directors.

Devon Anderson plays Aaron – He is best known for his roles as Billie Jackson in EastEnders; Taj Lewis in the CBBC sitcom Kerching!, and Sonny Valentine in Channel 4’s Hollyoaks. Most recently he played Shahid in Sinbad (SKY).
He has numerous other television credits to his name and in theatre he has worked at the National Theatre, Theatre Royal Stratford East and the Lyric Hammersmith. He also worked as a presenter on CBBC.

Jamie Richards plays David – He trained at The Oxford School of Drama. His theatre credits include Our Town (Pegasus Theatre Oxford); Into the Woods (The Theatre Chipping Norton); Kasimir and Karoline (Battersea Arts Centre); The Abattoir Pages (The Old Abattoir); A Karaoke Wedding and Joking Apart (The Union Theatre).

  • Film credits: Sleeper: A Vampire Movie (Catsby Films).
  • TV credits: Luther and What Remains (BBC).
  • Commercial credits include: Expedia, Q Music Channel, Morrisons, Magnet, Innocent, Co-op, Nicorette and Heineken.

Grace Cookey-Gam plays Melissa – She trained at City Lit, graduating in 2013. Recent work includes Tyrant (Fox TV); Saved (ITV), and the triple Offie Nominated The Awakening at the Jack Studio Theatre. She is also a busy voice over artist and singer with a music degree from Birmingham University. She regularly reads for the Liars League and was a BBC Radio Drama Norman Beaton Fellowship semi-finalist in 2015. Grace is represented by Rosebery Management.

Adele James plays Ella – She is a South London born actress and University of Bristol Drama graduate. 2016 was a prosperous year for Adele, having won an Award for Best Lead Actress at DOFIFF and affording her the chance to work as lead and supporting roles in several independent British film, webseries and TV projects; such as Who I Am (2016), Red Light (2017) and That’s What She Said (2017), which Adele is also the co-creator, writer and producer of. #Hashtag Lightie is Adele’s debut performance at The Arcola. Previously Adele has performed in several other leading off-West End and fringe theatre venues across London and Bristol, including Theatre N16 and The Courtyard Theatre.

Sophia Leonie play Aimee – She is an actress and writer from London who trained at East 15 Acting School. Sophia’s short film Love and More Important Things, which she wrote, produced, co-directed and acted in, premiered at this year’s British Urban Film Festival. Other short film credits include: Shrinking Violet which can be seen on the channel HD shorts. Sophia has also acted in BBC’s flagship show Casualty and Channel 4’s acclaimed drama Topboy.

  • Feature Film credits include: British Independent Film nominee Dreams of a Life and Amina. Sophia also writes a successful lifestyle blog on issues of culture and identity, which can be found at: sophiandstuff.com.

John Omole – trained at Rose Bruford drama school. Since graduating he has had roles on Channel 4’s Hollyoaks. He has worked extensively in theatre including shows at Theatre Royal Stratford East, Theatre 503, and with the Thelmas Theatre Group. He has also just filmed series two of the award winning E4 show Chewing Gum.
Supported by Arcola Lab, Arts Council England, Unity Theatre Trust, Team Angelica, Waltham Forest Arts Development Fund, Happy Grove Productions and Black Apron Entertainment.


Find out more and book tickets for #Hashtag Lightie via the Arcola Theatre website.