Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Press Night

Last night we finally got to the official opening at the Africa Centre. A packed house - lots of guests from the Afrophile community, including a Ghanaian family complete with baby, who gurgled through the show. That's African theatre for you... oddly, it seemed to add something to the show - there are so many references to children, and it felt rather like the background sound of the village!

Word on the street is good. There was a very buzzy atmosphere in Aunty Ama's Spot afterwards, and lots of people were there who had contributed in some way to this project - James and Patience Gibbs, Tessa Watt, Nick from the Arts Council.... I made a bit of a speech to thank everybody (especially Dzifa for the Ghanaian collaboration and Kate for making it all happen), and then got Aunty Ama to launch the Theatre and Slavery book.
We're rather proud of this, the first of our more discursive publications. There are essays about the play (a very good one by Awo Asiedu), plus others about other work on the theme: Julia Swindells has written about theatre in the run-up to the 1807 Act, and John Thieme has written about Caribbean work on the subject. There's the script of Mohammed ben Abdallah's The Slaves, pictures and extracts from Moj of the Antarctic, and poetry by Ama and by Dev Virahsawmy. And, especially importantly, there's material about contemporary slavery too. A very touching piece by Shikha Ghildyal about TfD work with child labourers, a Foreword by Aidan McQuade of Anti-Slavery International, and a characteristically brilliant essay by Rustom Bharucha, who as usual shows it's all more complex than it seems.

It's all going on at the moment.....

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