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First black female West End director honoured by the Queen

QUEEN'S HONOURS: Paulette Randall will be awarded with an MBE for services to drama

THE FIRST black female director to bring a production to the West End has been named in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Paulette Randall, MBE for services to drama
Director Paulette Randall was born in south London to Jamaican parents. The 55-year-old was the first female black director to bring a production to the West End with Fences in 2013, something she described as her “biggest achievement”.

Being acknowledged for her services to the drama industry, her extensive catalogue of work includes producing family favourites Desmonds, The Real McCoy and associate directing the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony alongside Danny Boyle.

Randall was the former artistic director of Talawa, the country's longest-surviving black theatre company, and has directed smash-hit musicals, Shakespeare and new writing in London for more than 20 years.

Alongside her peers Bernadine Evaristo and Patricia Hilaire, Randall founded Theatre of Black Women (TBW) in 1981, a small scale touring company in response to the lack of roles for black actors at the time.

The group defined themselves as ‘Black Feminists' and their work often engaged in debates about the historical exclusion of black women from the women's movement.

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