Remembering Equiano - 200th Anniversary of the Abolition of Slavery
Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa 'The African' - In Soham, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom

'African Snow'
Riding Lights Theatre Company & York Theatre Royal

African Snow

Written by Murray Watts
Directed by Paul Burbridge
Designed by Sean Cavanagh
Music by Ben Okafor
Lighting Design by Ben Cracknell
Movement by Clyde Bain

The Story

Performance of 'African Snow' Performance of 'African Snow' Performance of 'African Snow'

African Snow is the meeting of two men cast from opposite sides into the hell of the slave trade. The English sailor, John Newton, is well-known as the converted slave-trader who gave the world its most famous hymn Amazing Grace. But, as one might expect from the quiet racism of the history books, less prominence is given to Olaudah Equiano, whose extraordinary story has been confined to a footnote or totally ignored.

Equiano's ascent from the hell of a slave ship to become the leading black voice in the British abolition campaign is one of the most compelling and moving stories of any era. Both men survived to write remarkable accounts of their experiences and were urged by Yorkshire MP William Wilberforce to testify before parliament in the eighteenth century campaign for abolition. Together, Equiano and Newton seem to provide the most cogent argument in winning the political battle.

Is bringing them face to face beyond the scope of human reason? Can victim and abuser ever be reconciled? African Snow takes us to the heart of the human condition, to the place where two men are compelled to confront one another.

'African Snow' Main Cast:-

Israel Oyelumade (Olaudah Equiano)
Roger Alborough
(John Newton)
Mensah Bediako
(Equiano's Father)
Emmanuella Cole
(Equiano's Mother)
Antonia Kemi Coker
(Equiano's Sister)
Chris Jack
(William Wilberforce)
Rex Obano
(Captain Michael Pascal)
Kenny Thompson
(Slave/Sailor/British Naval Captain)

The Production Team Behind African Snow

African Snow is the first co-production between York theatre companies Riding Lights and York Theatre Royal. African Snow was originally commissioned and is supported by the Church Mission Society, founded in 1799 by representatives of the abolitionist movement including William Wilberforce.


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