Arts & Culture
The Powder Monkey – A New Opera by Brolly Productions & Errollyn Wallen MBE
- 8:00 pm
01 November 2019
Newham Town Hall | FREE
328 Barking Road, East Ham, London E6 2RP
Chukwunenye, an African boy of the Igbo people, is the powder monkey born on a slave ship and now one voyage away from buying his freedom. As the slave ship nears port on the ‘middle’ passage there is an uprising by the enslaved and he must choose which side he will take; his people or his freedom?
Set on board a slave ship in 1788 this powerful, visually stunning new opera engages with the ‘sensitive’ history of Britain’s role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade and places the Black male character of the ‘powder monkey’ centre stage of this diverse cast.
The Powder Monkey opens up the classical opera form by infusing the score with the traditional music and languages of West Africa, the Indian subcontinent, the folk forms of Northern England and maritime creole work songs by classically trained musicians from those Asian and African traditions, featuring instruments such as the kora, sitar and djembe.
The opera excitingly integrates live performance, music and animation to create a stunning spectacle that engages with the rich musical diversity of contemporary Britain to bring new audiences to opera.
ABOUT BROLLY PRODUCTIONS:
Brolly is a collaboration between designer and illustrator Rachana Jadhav and writer, director Dominic Hingorani.
We aim to engage BAME artists and audiences for the Arts and Heritage. We believe that both the stage and the company should reflect the diversity of our audience.
The form of the performance work we make is led by concept. We place design at the centre of our practice and integrate live performance with digital technologies.
Image credit: 2019 illustrated and designed by brolly (c)