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

Soham at the Time of the Abolition

Wedding Re-enactment

On 17th April 2007, St. Andrew's Church in Soham hosted an evening in honour of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa 'The African'. Olaudah Equiano is frequently listed as both one of the most important 'Black Britons' and one of the most significant players in the abolition of the slave trade in England. His connection with Soham is that he married a spinster of the town, Susannah Cullen in St. Andrew's Church.

Portrait of Olaudah Equiano in St. Andrew's Church, Soham Momentum Arts 'Untold Stories' banner in St. Andrew's Church, Soham

The original wedding took place on 7th April 1792 and was re-enacted in its entirety during the event. Twenty students from Soham Village College theatre group Stage Chance staged the carefully researched performance in period costume as part of the Soham Action 4 Youth (SA4Y), Lottery Heritage Funded project 'Soham at the Time of the Abolition'.


Re-enactment of the wedding of Olaudah Equiano & Susannah Cullen
St. Andrew's Church, Soham on 17th April 2007

Cast List

Narrator:

Charles Hill (Curate):
Gustavus Vassa (Olaudah Equiano):
Francis Bland (Bridegroom Man 1):
Bridegroom Man 2:
Ann Cullen (Bride's Mother):
Cousin Floe:
Susannah Cullen (Bride):
Thomas Cullen (Uncle):
Bridesmaid 1:
Bridesmaid 2:

Laura Winter

Harry Seal
Marlon Highland
Sam Levitt
Daniel Bell
Katherine Hickmott
Stephanie Martin
Susannah Martin
Craig Carpenter
Naomi Rogers
Lydia Jellyman

Organist:

Choir:
 

Jim Ames

Rachel Kear
Isabelle Rice
Emily Robinson
Ellie Gillet
Rachel Scarlett
Hannah Bradley
Molly Shaw
Chantell Laine
Kerry Griggs
Samantha Williams

Page:
Page:
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Lucy Bell
Dorigen Bell
Emily Johnson
Tilly Burn

Others:

Nancy Hogg
Paul Hunt
Joy Njenje

Written & Directed by Daniel Bell
Costumes supplied by Lynn Quelch, County Wardrobe, Cambridge


Commemorative Plaque

Arthur Torrington from The Equiano Society with Soham Vicar, The Reverend Tim Alban Jones MBE

Commemorative Plaque in St Andrew's Church, Soham unveiled on 17th April 2007

Arthur Torrington from The Equiano Society with
Soham Vicar, The Reverend Tim Alban Jones MBE

Commemorative Plaque in St Andrew's Church, Soham
Unveiled on 17th April 2007

The event also comprised of several speakers, including Arthur Torrington, a leading expert on Equiano and founder of The Equiano Society who was asked to unveil a plaque along with Soham Vicar The Reverend Tim Alban Jones MBE dedicated to the marriage of 'Gustavus Vassa and Susannah Cullen', on the south wall of St. Andrew's Church.


'Equiano's Daughter' Official Book Launch

Patricia Lashley from Momentum Arts 'Untold Stories' with Angela Osborne with her book 'Equiano's Daugher'

Author Angela Osborne with Marlon Highland (Olaudah Equiano) & Susannah Martin (Susannah Cullen)

Patricia Lashley from Momentum Arts 'Untold Stories'
with Angela Osborne with her book 'Equiano's Daugher'

Marlon Highland (Olaudah Equiano), Angela Osborne
and
Susannah Martin (Susannah Cullen)

The audience many of whom had made the journey to Soham especially were treated to 'Friends African Dancing & Drummers' and a heart rending solo performance of 'Amazing Grace' by local Gospel singer Shean Williams, as well as an array of Afro-Caribbean foods and delicacies. Author Angelina Osborne also launched her beautiful book about the life of Joanna Vassa, Equiano's only surviving daughter. As those who attended will confirm, this really was a night to be remembered.

Gospel Singer Shean Williams performing 'Amazing Grace'

Friends African Dancers & Drummers

Gospel Singer Shean Williams performing 'Amazing Grace'

Friends African Dancers & Drummers


The Momentum Arts Team would like to thank our partners for their invaluable support!

Arts Council of England
Cambridge City Council
Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum
Menter
University of Cambridge
Cambridgeshire County Council


Special Thanks To:

Friends African Dancers & Drummers
.
  . .

Reverend Tim Alban Jones MBE
Reverend Edward Green
Alison Evans
Margaret Fisher
Bridget Buchan
Peter Buchan
Dawn Laver
Howard Laver
Claire Gillett
Susan Hurrell
Judith Scott
Susan Taylor
Linda Palmer

Soham Village College

Linda Homan
Louise Sarll
Donna Martin
Gunel Salih

Emmanuel Amuzu
Churchill Sefakor Attipoe
Gilbert Cofie
Michael Nii Amon Neequaye
Mershak Tagoe


Gospel Singer

Shean Williams

'Equiano's Daughter' Publication

Marge Lowhar
Mervyn Weir
Arthur Torrington
Angelina Osborne

Caterers

Joyce Andrade & Team

Aiysha Malik
Vicki Eggs


Untold Stories Volunteers

Tewodras Sile
Amifa Tholley
Daphne Francois

Untold Stories Advisory Panel

Ila Chandavarkar
Patricia Crampton
Joanne Gray
Saira Law
Mahbubur Rahman
Sean Risdale


 

Soham Museum Project Open Day - Lodside Hall, Soham Village College on Saturday 11th October 2003 from 2.00pm - 4.00pm
Soham Museum

SA4Y - Soham Action 4 Youth

 Soham Village College

Soham Village College - Stage Chance

The National Lottery - Heritage Lottery Fund

Momentum Arts

Untold Stories

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