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Munroe, Carmen (1932-)


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Carmen Munroe was born in Guyana and came to Britain in 1951. In the mid-1950s she performed with the West Indian Students' Drama Group. In 1962 she made her professional stage debut at London's Wyndham's Theatre in Tennessee Williams' Period of Adjustment, and later played leading roles in other West End productions: Alun Owen's There'll Be Some Changes Made (1969), Jean Genet's The Blacks (1970), and as Orinthia in George Bernard Shaw's The Apple Cart (1970).

Since the 1970s, she has played a major role in the development of black theatre in Britain, appearing in plays by black writers such as Michael Abbensetts' El Dorado, Lorraine Hansherry's A Raisin in the Sun, and James Baldwin's The Amen Corner. She directed James Saunders' play Alas, Poor Fred for the Umoja Theatre, and also the British premiere of Remembrance, by Caribbean poet and writer Derek Walcott at London's Art Theatre in 1987.

Her numerous television appearances include John Hopkins' Fable (BBC, tx. 27/1/1965), Rainbow City (BBC, 1967) by Horace James and John Elliot, Troubleshooters (BBC, 1967), LoveStory (1967), Have Bird, Will Travel (1968), a satirical series written by John Bird, The Persuaders with Tony Curtis (LWT, 8/10/1971), Barry Reckord's In the Beautiful Caribbean (BBC, tx. 3/2/1972), Alfred Fagon's Shakespeare Country (BBC, tx. 17/5/1973), The Fosters (LWT, 1976), Michael Abbensetts' Black Christmas (BBC, tx. 20/12/1977), Mixed Blessings (LWT, 1978-80), Horace Ové's A Hole in Babylon (BBC, tx. 29/11/1979), and Caryl Phillips' The Hope and the Glory (BBC, tx. 25/4/1984).

From 1989 to 1994, she made regular appearances as Shirley in Trix Worrell's Channel Four sitcom Desmond's.

Seb Whyte

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Understated drama about a West Indian family Christmas

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Sitcom about the life of a South London black family

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Comedy series about a mixed-race married couple

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