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Sue Lawley's castaway this week is the theatre director Yvonne Brewster. She has been a major force in black British theatre for the last 20 years. Born into a wealthy family in Jamaica, Yvonne rebelled against her parents' plans for her - marriage and children - to become a theatrical pioneer. She says she was the first black drama student in Britain - but when she enrolled, her drama school's principal told her that, as a black actress, she would never get work here. She went on to become the first black woman to direct at the National Theatre.

Throughout her career Yvonne has been an outspoken proponent of black theatre. In 1986 she founded the theatre company Talawa, whose name in Jamaican dialect means tough or feisty. Talawa gained attention - and audiences - by putting on productions such as an all-black Importance of Being Earnest.

[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]

Favourite track: Many Rivers to Cross by Jimmy Clif

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