Black Men Walking at Royal Exchange Theatre

Black Men Walking will premiere at Royal Exchange Theatre this new year

Inspired by a real-life Black men’s walking group based in Sheffield, Black Men Walking will premiere at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre. The show is produced by Eclipse in collaboration with Leeds-based rapper, singer, producer and performer Testament.

Directed by Eclipse Theatre’s artistic director Dawn Walton, the show mixes dramatic story-telling with original music by Testament. An Eclipse Theatre and Royal Exchange Theatre co-production, Black Men Walking will open on 18 January 2018. After its debut at Royal Exchange Theatre – ending on 3 February 2018 – the show will embark on a UK tour.

Thomas, Matthew and Richard meet every month as part of a walking group to explore the dramatic landscape of the Peak District, Yorkshire. On this particular trip, the rest of group cancels and it soon feels like maybe they should have done too. The men find themselves forced to walk backwards through two thousand years of Black history. They embark on a dangerous journey that invokes an element of the supernatural; an encounter with the spirits of their ancestors. Whilst doing so, they embark on an exploration of what it means to be both Black and British today.

A rising star in the theatre landscape, Testament was most recently acclaimed for his one-man show about feminism, WOKE. It fused powerful first-person narrative with his signature beat-boxing and rapping. The walking group which inspired the production was founded in 2004 by a group of men of African and African-Caribbean heritage. These men started walking for health, wellbeing and camaraderie.

The cast includes Tyrone Huggins as Thomas, Trevor Laird as Matthew and Tonderai Munyevu as Richard. Completing the cast is Dorcas Sebuyange.

Walton said the show will turn “the spotlight onto Britain’s missing Black history with a piece inspired by real people and real events”.

TNT Arts & Culture

Photo Credit: Royal Exchange Theatre

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