Claudette Clarke hails from Guyana, South America and is of African-Caribbean heritage. Growing up in London, she had come to largely identify as a ‘Black British’ minority member of the United Kingdom. Currently a Sydney-based resident, one has to glance at her portfolio to appreciate the breadth and aptitude of her work in universally-loved classic adaptations particularly “To Kill a Mockingbird”, “Doubt”, “The Crucible” and “Danton’s Death”.
Claudette thrives best in multi-ethnic ensemble pieces, dealing with prejudice and class struggles, role models and education, crime and bloody political tragedies, cultural revolutions and holistic experiences; as well as pride in one’s heritage and place of birth. This is most notable in her narration of the arts-based magazine program “Omnibus”, where she comments on the link between racism, racial identity and diasporic relations in a primarily Anglo-centric British society. She is said to have a natural strength for acting, steadfastly commanding the space.
But creativity also is in the genes: her adult daughter is a celebrated writer and author who is more passionately versed on the topical issue of refugees, displacement and human rights than Claudette is. Although Claudette now considers Australia home, she is never more comfortable than speaking in Creole with relatives, and always mindful of her British African-Caribbean roots.