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24 September 2014
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Theatre and Arts

The play's poster

Remembering The Guilt

A new play at the Theatre Royal marks the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade.

The Plymouth Theatre Royal's Young and People's Company join together to present a city centre performance of Maroon - a work to mark the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade.

On Saturday 24 March, shoppers in the city centre will be able to watch the performance in the Piazza - free of charge. It features youngsters from Cornwall and Devon.

Maroon, directed by the Theatre Royal's youth theatre director Oliver Jones, fuses physical theatre, spoken word, poetry, movement and music to tell the story of how the transatlantic slave trade came to an end 200 years ago.

The 30 minute performance portrays the life the slaves were forced to endure. From capture, enslavement, degradation and torture; to working in the back-breaking sugar plantations, Maroon tells it like it was.

Quakers' painting
South West Quakers were involved in the abolition

The work features a large ensemble cast and a local choir, and has two performances in the Piazza - at 12 noon and again at 1.30pm.

Oliver Jones, who co-wrote the piece with another local writer, Olwyn Foot, said tackling such a huge subject has been a real challenge.

"It's just such a gigantic subject that it's hard to edit down," he said.

"We're not trying to convey all the horrors - that would be impossible. We're taking a representative point of view."

The writers spent quite some time researching the topic before embarking on rehearsals for a month.

"It's a physical work so there's not much to write in that respect," said Oliver. "But it will only be finished when we perform it.

"The Piazza is such an important space for Plymouth and it's a great space to perform in."

Essential Information

Maroon takes place at The Piazza, Plymouth, featuring Cornish youngsters, on Saturday 24 March between 12 noon and 1.30pm. It is free to watch.

last updated: 14/03/07
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