From: SEFAN [admin_at_sefan_dot_org_dot_uk]
Sent: 11 July 2007 09:17
Subject: SEFAN:2007-07-11:01 GLEANINGS from arts e-digests: July 10, 2007
because it sounds like fun ......

ARTSNEWS Digest for Tuesday, July 10, 2007.

Subject: Celebrating the Abolition of Slavery in Portsmouth From: "Philip Parr"
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2007 17:50:47 +0100
X-Message-Number: 23

Throughout 2007 the African Women's Forum and the community play specialists Parrabbola are collaborating on a series of theatre projects to celebrate the Bi-centennial of The Abolition of the African Slave Trade (1807)

Don't miss


14th & 15th July 2007
Time: 10:45, 1:00, 3:00
Location: In front of HMS VICTORY at the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth as part of the Africa Legacy Weekend.

A rumbustious, piece of Street Theatre set against the glorious backdrop of HMS VICTORY. An extravaganza of knockabout humour, song and a sea battle!

Set on February 1st, 1829, of the Coast of Lagos, when the BLACK JOKE Captured the Spanish Slave Ship El Almirante (Admiral), after a 31 hour chase and 80 minute sea battle. (our Sea Battle only lasts twenty minutes you'll be pleased to know!).
In good company with HMS VICTORY, the BLACK JOKE was a brave ship, taking on the El Almirante - who had twice the cannon and crew, capturing her and freeing over 100 slaves.

The BLACK JOKE was one of the most successful chasers of Slave trader ships - in one 16 month period she caught 9 slave ships, and freed around 2,500 slaves. (The Royal Navy intercepted 1,600 ships and freed 150,000 African slaves between 1807 and 1870).


DATE: Sunday,22ND July.
Time: 3.00 p.m.
Location: The Cathedral Church of St Thomas, Old Portsmouth.

At the stroke of Midnight, July 31st, 1838- over 800,000 African and Caribbean slaves became free throughout The British Empire and United Kingdom.

Throughout Jamaica, and no doubt elsewhere, Services of celebration were held to welcome freedom and bury slavery.
Literally. "FREEDOM!" by Brian Abbott is a deeply moving and joyous recreation of a celebration described by Reverend William Knibb at which a coffin marked :
"Colonial Slavery, died July 31st 1838,aged 276 years" was loaded with A whip, chains, manacles and an iron punishment collar. And then buried. A coconut palm, representing Liberty was planted alongside.

William Knibb a staunch Abolitionist- had returned to Jamaica- he had to flee to England earlier because of assassination attempts by Slave Owners, and their burning down of 20 Baptist and Methodist churches. He went on to preach for the right to vote for all freed slaves, and his daughter was married with his blessing to a mulatto.

We also hear from Archie Monteith, a slave who insisted on buying his freedom- even though he knew he would be freed in 3 years time. This will be played by his great-great- grandson- actor David Monteith who recently starred in the CHANNEL 4 documentary "The Last Slave", about his ancestor Archie.

A hymn setting for the words they sang that night and a Gospel song have been especially commissioned by composer Chris Hoban; and will be sung along with other music by the renowned acappella Singers of the AWF and Friends.

For further information and details contact: mailto:info_at_parrabbola_dot_co_dot_uk

the Season of work will Culminate with the full-length musical play BRIGHTER THAN THE MOON
November 8th,9th &10th 2007, at the New Theatre Royal Portsmouth. for details of how to get involved contact Liz Weston at the New Theatre Royal mailto:lw_at_newtheatreroyal_dot_com

Penny Allen - General Manager
Anthony John Allen - Chair of the board

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