Michael McMillan is an acclaimed arts practitioner whose work includes plays, non-fiction books and installations/exhibitions. His early plays at the Royal Court Theatre — The School Leaver (1978) and Hard Time Pressure (1981) — explored family, identity and generation in a migrant context. On Duty (1981) featured a black nurse and was made into a Channel 4 drama-documentary in 1984. Other plays and performance pieces have explored black masculinities: Invisible (1993), Brother to Brother (1996) and Master Juba (2006). More recently The Good Person of Sezaun/Trenchtown (2010) translated Bertolt Brecht into a Jamaican context.
Michael has held numerous residencies from which publications have emerged, including: Living Proof: views of a world living with HIV & Aids, co-edited with the photographer Nick Lowe (Artist Agency, 1992); The Black Boy Pub & Other Stories, which tells of the black experience in High Wycombe (Wycombe District Council, 1997); and If I Could Fly, an anthology of writings from boys and young men at Orchard Lodge resource centre (Southwark Social Services, 1998). More recently, The Waiting Room (2012) was published after a year-long residency working with cancer and rheumatoid arthritis patients in north Wales.
The Front Room: migrant aesthetics in the home (Black Dog, 2009) was written after the critically acclaimed exhibition The West Indian Front Room (Geffrye Museum, 2005-06). It has been made into a BBC4 documentary, an interactive website, and is the basis of Michael’s arts doctorate from Middlesex University (2010). Michael is visiting professor of creative writing at the London College of Communication, University of the Arts, London.