Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile


Adelle Stripe’s

Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile

Adapted by Lisa Holdsworth

Directed by Kash Arshad

We’re in The Beacon, Buttershaw, Christmas 1990. That’s in Bradford, in case you don’t know. And Andrea Dunbar is here, she’s the one that wrote Rita, Sue, and Bob Too, a Bradford lass, and a mum, sister, best friend too. Everyone, every man, has always told her story. This evening she’s telling it herself. So get yerself a drink, settle down and listen up.

‘Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile’ is a play. It’s adapted from Adelle Stripe’s ‘outstanding debut novel’ of Andrea Dunbar’s life by Lisa Holdsworth (she’s done Ackerly Bridge, and Call the Midwife). Adelle and Lisa are both from Yorkshire an’ all, so they know what they’re talking about. With loads of great Bradford characters in it, a lot of laughs, and some dark times too. Come along, we’d love to see ya there.

Age Recommendation:

Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile contains some adult language, sexual references, references to domestic violence and alcoholism. We recommend all audience members are at least 14 years old and have adult supervision.


“In Holdsworth’s snappy, engaging adaptation, the drama becomes a sort of dialogue between Dunbar’s older and younger selves…”

★★★★ The Guardian

“Poignant and stark staging of Adelle Stripe’s novel based on the life of Bradford playwright Andrea Dunbar” 

★★★★ The Stage

“The set, by Hannah Sibai, feels authentic, as does the entire production.” 

★★★★ The Times

The five female performers are terrific.”

“This adaptation is lively, engaging and packs one hell of a punch.”

British Theatre Guide

“Powerful and Convincing”

★★★★ The Reviews Hub

★★★★ Broadway World

★★★★ North West End

“A really impressive feat of acting and staging.”

The Culture Vulture 

“The truth does hurt, but thank goodness Dunbar chose to tell it.” 

The Independent 

The short but vibrant life of playwright Andrea Dunbar is vividly recreated by an all-female cast”

★★★★ The Observer

★★★★ Yorkshire Post

★★★★ Mail on Sunday

Production Images:


Please Note: This is a work of fiction and is an alternative version of historic events. It has been manipulated, re- structured and embellished. Real people rub shoulders with fictional characters, some utter words from letters and characters, some utter words from letters and scripts; others are gleaned from occasional references, newspaper cuttings, hearsay or fractured memory. It is not the truth and exists purely within the realms of speculation.

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