This autumn, as part of Black History Month, a special play is coming to Bath: ‘Getting the Third Degree’ will be on at the Rondo Theatre Bath on 13th November & Prior Park College on 14th November. (see Getting the Third Degree – Rondo Theatre)
The play is written by award winning playwright Dougie Blaxland and it tells the powerful and deeply moving story of Laurie Cunningham who came to prominence with West Bromwich Albion in the late 1970’s. The first of the black footballing trio famously dubbed The Three Degrees - Laurie Cunningham with his swaggering style and dazzling skills forced favourable comparisons with the legendary Pele. The first ever millionaire black footballer, the first player of colour to sign for the mighty Real Madrid and only the second to win a full cap for England - he inspired a whole generation of young black players to follow in his pioneering footsteps.
Getting The Third Degree also explores how Laurie and his fellow black players - Brendon Batson and Cyrille Regis - triumphed over the racial abuse and physical threats often orchestrated by The National Front through a potent combination of footballing brilliance, charismatic style and compelling dignity.
With the resurgence of racial abuse at football matches and in wider society in the UK playwright Dougie Blaxland believes that “although Getting the Third Degree dramatises events that took place over 40 years ago, the issues that the play raises are every bit as relevant today as they were then.” And that’s where the idea of a local creative writing competition came from.
The creative writing competition
The B&NES anti- racism creative writing competition is free to enter, open to young people from Year 1 – Year 13, of all abilities.
We want to encourage participants to think about racism and produce their own creative writing piece about this serious issue. It could be a piece of prose, or poetry. A play script or a story - if it’s about racism, and how to overcome it - we want to see it! You might want to base it on real life events within Getting The Third Degree - and research what happened to Laurie Cunningham, Brendon Batson and Cyrille Regis at West Bromwich Albion - or you might want to cover something entirely different – it’s up to you.
Prizes include family tickets to a Bath City Football match and signed footballs – and the winning entries will be published on the councils website.
Rules for entries
There are four age categories as detailed below:
Category 1: Years 1-4
Category 2: Years 5-6
Category 3: Years 7-9
Category 4: Year 10-13
Entries can be individual or group.
Maximum entries from schools – 3 per age category class. (Schools will need to select the entries they wish to put forward into the competition).
Maximum length of entries 500 words.
Entries should be emailed to Equality@bathnes.gov.uk; (Please scan and send paper entries electronically).
Deadline for entries – Friday 20th December 2019
The judging panel will include award winning playwright Dougie Blaxland (writer of Getting the Third Degree) and also colleagues from Stand Against Racism and Inequality (SARI).
Winners to be announced by Friday 31st January 2020.