NWR Issue 114


My dad, Darwin Andrews, was the first black mayor in Britain. He was also the first Muslim mayor in Britain. If that didn’t make growing up in a small non-mining town in Wales hard enough, his wife, my mum, who I never knew – she died when I was less than three – had given me the name Julie. Julie Andrews. At thirteen, I was a 5ft 6’’ roll-up cigarette thin black girl with funny edges, in a school that was mostly, almost, all white. And of course I couldn’t sing. The year was 1977.
Even though my dad wore a gold chain, a gold-plated chain to work, and had one of the most well-known faces in town, we still lived above a shop. The council had offered him a flat behind the mayor’s office but he wouldn’t take it. He said the flat above the shop would keep us humble. My dad used to be a Christian.

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As a journalist in Pakistan, Anita Mir has published articles and short stories. She now lives in London and, away from the day job, writes short stories and plays. She has had two short plays produced and rehearsed readings of several plays. Her plays have been longlisted for the Bruntwood Prize, the Soho Verity Bargate Award and the Old Vic 12. Her work has received development support from the Old Vic New Voices programme and is under consideration with several theatre companies. She grew up in Wales and misses it.


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