'First-rate ... an admirable introduction to a great pioneering performer' The Guardian
Written and performed by Tayo Aluko with Michael Conliffe, piano
Directed by Olusola Oyeleye
Designed by Phil Newman
'They say I’m meddling in the foreign affairs of the United States Government. Now, that’s too bad, ‘cause I’m going to have to continue to meddle...'
Paul Robeson is a world famous actor, singer and civil rights campaigner. When over the years he gets progressively too radical and outspoken for the establishment's liking, he is branded a traitor to his country, harassed, and denied opportunities to perform or travel.
Just as physical, emotional and mental stress threaten to push him over the fine line between genius and madness, he is summoned to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee, to give the most difficult and important performance of his career.
This roller coaster journey through Robeson’s remarkable and eventful life highlights how his radical activism caused him to be disowned and disremembered, even by the leaders and descendants of the civil rights movement. It features much fiery oratory and some of his famous songs, including a dramatic rendition of Ol’ Man River.
Tayo Aluko revives one of the 20th Century’s most impressive but overlooked figures in this powerful, compelling tour-de-force performance, which was seen at New York’s Carnegie Hall in February 2012.