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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Patrick Graham

Sweet Mother play inspired by 'resilient' Toxteth women returns to Liverpool

A play created from the stories of women from Toxteth is set to return to Liverpool this month.

Arts Council England have funded local writer Maria Paul of Nwoko Arts for a national tour of her play Sweet Mother, which has been adapted from its first performance.

Writer Maria created Sweet Mother through verbatim interviews with dozens of women from Toxteth telling their stories of racism due to who they fell in love with. It tells the stories of four of these women who shared their experiences of raising families in 1950s to the 1980s in Toxteth.

The lens focuses on the previously untold stories of white women who fell in love with, married and raised families with black men in Liverpool 8 during a time of racial unrest.

READ MORE: Scouser's ancestors both slaves and slave owners in 'epic' revelation

First shown in 2020, Maria has added a fourth person to join in telling their story. The women in focus are Joan Caddick, Josie Burger and Vera McRae,the fourth will be revealed at the first performance.

The new Sweet Mother begins its UK tour on Saturday, October 22 at the Brink, Parr Street Liverpool as part of Liverpool Irish Festival. It will run until December 2022, with further dates and venues to be confirmed.

Sweet Mother celebrates the strength and resilience of these women and many more like them. Maria told the ECHO: “My inspiration for the play was my own lived experience of having a mother who endured racism at the hands of some family members due to the colour of my dad's skin.

"Its important to tell and archive these stories of historical racism that are so often overlooked. I feel Liverpool 8's history should be told through the voices of those who live here”.

Rehearsals of Sweet Mother in their 2020 performance (L-R) Margaret Connell, Amanda George-Higgins & Lisa McMahon (Image: Siobhan Noble) (Siobhan Noble)

Margaret Connell who has been involved in the early development of the play and portrays Marie Chicken said: "Its an honour to be able to tell the stories of such resilient women. Despite the prejudice and struggles they faced they always had a smile and a story to tell.

"This play could be a TV series given the experiences these families had. It’s a very special project to be part of."

Since the 2020 outing the play will now be resurged to form part of a trilogy of plays from Nwoko Arts, including The Triangle, a promenade performance that recently premiered in Liverpool 8.

For ticket information:


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Black History Month 2022: 21 of Liverpool's Black unsung heroes

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