Bonnie Greer


Bonnie Greer is an award winning author and playwright, born in Chicago. She has lived and worked in London for the past 25 years. Recent projects include “Yes” an opera, which premiered at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in November 2011, "48:Greco/Davis" as part of the London Jazz Festival (2009) and "Marilyn And Ella" which ran at The Apollo Theatre West End in November 2009, after a sold-out run at the Edinburgh Festival in 2007. “Marilyn and Ella” is currently being translated into German, French and Croatian. She has had over a dozen plays produced over BBC Radio including a translation and adaptation of "The Little Prince", and her documentary "In Search Of The Black Madonna". On BBC2 in 2002 her influential documentary "Reflecting Skin" charted the presence of the African In Western European art. She has been a theatre critic for "Time Out" and writes occasional pieces on the arts for The Times, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent and The Huffington Post. She is a regular guest on "Newsnight Review" and its current incarnation, "The Review Show”. She is a Trustee of the Serpentine Gallery; a member of the Council and Artistic Advisory Committees of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art; (RADA) ; a member of the Franco British Council and Deputy Chair of the Board of Trustees of the British Museum. She was awarded an OBE for services to the arts in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2010.

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Bonnie Greer


Dear Son,

I hope this letter finds you well.

Your little sister recently baked her first cake.  It was a birthday cake for you.

She used one pound of flour. Half a pound of lump sugar.  Half a pound of currants, one gill of milk, four ounces of butter, one teaspoonful of carbonate soda, one egg.

She rubbed the butter into the flour. Then she added the milk and egg together. She put currants into the flour and mixed them before she added the milk. She mixed everything together and baked it at once in a moderate oven   for about thirty minutes.

The little drawing on this page  is of your birthday  cake . I know that the drawing is quite small but  your little brother likes miniatures.

Below it is your second gift: a line from your favourite book:  “Lord Greystoke, …Why he was sent, is, however, of little moment …”

It is very amusing  to see all of the old men here bent down working the land. They complain and complain. But they do the work and work well.

The Finty boy has joined up. He’s not old enough, but he’s very keen. He wants to do his bit and also have a great adventure , like you are having.

Your friend Grace   is studying to become a nurse with hopes to be sent to the front.  If so, I’m sure that you will see one another there. She has become very pretty with a fine singing voice. She is a stalwart of the choir.

I  hope that the socks I knitted are warm. A soldier  must always keep his feet dry, I am told.

The harvest will be fine.  Your father and I are  very busy .   This is my   second year and I have become very good with a plough and a horse!

Lord Kitchener’s posters are everywhere. I walk past them very quickly. I have a great deal of work to do and must get on.

Well, goodbye for now. Don’t forget to share your cake with the other lads!

Don’t forget  your socks, and  don’t forget your prayers!

I see you   most clearly when I pray.

Your loving mother who is counting the days,


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