Nicola Gardner is a black actress and writer. Nicola is the writer of The Community Centre, a multi-ethnic comedy play that was taken up to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2019. Nicola also wrote The Last Appointment commissioned for Sheffield Crucible's Theatre 4x15 event.
As a trained professional actress, Nicola has appeared in prime time TV productions such as Brookside, Emmerdale,
and The Royal, and most recently played Helena the Undertaker in Coronation Street. Nicola has worked extensively in the theatre and has appeared in a pivotal role in ‘A Raisin in the Sun’ by Lorraine Hansberry at the Green Room Theatre and the eponymous role in ‘A Caribbean Abroad’ by David Hermanstein at the Library Theatre, Manchester. Nicola has also had roles in ‘Mwana’ by Tawona Sithole at the Tron Theatre, Glasgow
and the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh for Ankur Theatre Company. Nicola has toured nationwide with Northern Broadsides Theatre Company in ‘The Tempest’ playing Ariel and performance venues included the West Yorkshire Playhouse, The New Vic and the Citizen’s Theatre, Glasgow. Nicola has also acted in BBC Radio 4 plays and had the lead role in ‘Whoopi Goldberg’s Country Life’ by Shelagh Delaney. Other radio plays are ‘Bad by Default’, ‘Number 10’ with Sir Anthony Sher, ‘Ashes to Ashes’, ‘Chaos by Design’, ‘Shells on a Woven Chord’ and most recently ‘The Last Flag’. Nicola has performed as a stand-up comedienne at northern comedy venues such as the Frog & Bucket.
What Windrush means to me
I have a great respect and admiration for the Windrush generation; they are fearless heroes who responded to the British Government's call for workers in the transport system, postal service and health service following the devastation of World War Two. To be invited to set up home in the UK and then some 70 years later to be treated despicably is a story I feel passionately needs to be shared - so much so that I wrote my current show, The Windrush Warriors. This show exposes the persecution of African-Caribbean people that began in the UK in 2017. Perpetrated by the Conservative government, this is a scandal of epic proportions that devastated lives
and shattered families. The Windrush Warriors is a comedy drama that highlights the resilience of
Black people in a time of crisis.
The show is a life-affirming view of a group of survivors who imagined a peaceful retirement but have to deal with a serious, unexpected challenge. And how do they cope with the stress and anxiety generated by the Conservative government’s hostile environment? By fighting back!
We must continue to fight for justice for the Windrush Generation, and hold the government to their promise to 'right the wrongs' which led to this scandal.
We need to honour the memory of those that have been crushed by this far-reaching, vicious attack on often vulnerable and helpless victims, to gasp at the despicable act of the Home Office destroying landing papers so entry to the UK was impossible to prove, to scream and shout at the Conservative’s most cruel act of all, deportation from families and homes to lands only remembered dimly from childhood days.
It is an honour to be a patron of the Preston Windrush Generation & Descendants
Organisation, and together we will strive to make right the cruel act of betrayal which is the Windrush scandal.