Josephine: remembering a star and role model

A banner reading 'Celebrating Black History Month in Newham'

Newham born Josephine Melville was a dancer, actress, writer, director, producer, part of the BiBi Crew and a board member at Theatre Royal Stratford East. 

By Neandra Etienne

BiBi Crew, Troy & Tyler
BiBi Crew, Troy & Tyler. Photo: Neandra Etienne

Josephine Melville alongside original members Joanne Campbell, Judith Jacob, Janet Kay MBE, Suzette Llewellyn, Beverley Michaels and Suzanne Packer, the BiBi Crew devised and directed their own productions at Theatre Royal Stratford East from 1991-1995. 

On Friday 11 August the BiBi Crew’s Newham heritage blue plaque was unveiled at Theatre Royal Stratford East, by the members of the BiBi Crew, their family and friends. During the unveiling the BiBi Crew’s family, friends and Troy and Tyler, Josephine’s sons, visited a chair in the stalls named after Josephine, who passed away in October 2022. 

Eleanor Lang, Executive Director at Theatre Royal Stratford East told Newham Voices: “We are so pleased to have a seat dedicated to Jo, who not only performed on our stage so many times but was also such a supporter and cheerleader of our work.” 

Josephine’s son Troy shared a quote from his mum: “Make something happen. Mum would always say that to Tyler and me before we’d leave the house.” 

The BiBi Crew banner is on display in Stratford library  

INSTAGRAM: @thebibicrew

Newham Voices needs you. No matter how small, your support makes a difference

Newham Voices is a community newspaper that holds authority to account, highlights inequality, promotes good causes, and provides a platform for local people. We do real local news with no paywalls, free to read for all. We can only do this with the continued support of our readers. If you can afford to, please consider supporting us with a small monthly contribution.

Monthly direct debit 

£5 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else, £10 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else and a print copy posted to them each month.  

More information on supporting us monthly