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Connor-Mogotsi, Pearl (1924-2005)


Main image of Connor-Mogotsi, Pearl (1924-2005)

Pearl Connor was born in Trinidad and came to Britain in 1948 to study law at London University. As Pearl Nunez she has worked as an actress since that time, but she is perhaps best known for her pioneering work as an actors' agent and campaigner.

In the 1950s she married the Trinidadian singer, actor and filmmaker Edric Connor (1915-68) and in 1956 they started an agency. Originally called The Edric Connor Agency, it later became known as the Afro-Asian Caribbean Agency (1956-76),. Through Pearl's efforts, it represented people from the Caribbean, Malaysia, India and Africa.

In 1963 she was instrumental in establishing the Negro Theatre Workshop, one of the first black theatre workshops in Britain. Pearl and Edric launched the Workshop at London's Lyric Theatre with a production of A Wreath for Udomo, adapted from the novel by Peter Abrahams and featuring Earl Cameron, Edric Connor, Lloyd Reckord and Joan Hooley. The Negro Theatre Workshop's production of The Dark Disciples, an enactment of the Easter story by a company of twenty-five black actors, was produced for television by the BBC in 1966.

In 1971 Pearl Connor married Joseph Mogotsi, leader of the prestigious black South African singing group The Manhattan Brothers. Together they planned and organised tours throughout the world for singers, dancers, musicians and actors. She continued to work, running her literary agency and black music publishing as well as acting as a consultant in all areas of the arts, until her death on 11 February 2005.

Seb Whyte

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