Written and Performed by Tayo Aluko
Directed by Olusola Oyeleye
Designed by Phil Newman
Paul Robeson is a great and 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.
The play is a roller coaster journey through Robeson’s remarkable and eventful life, and 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.
“FIRST RATE” 4 Stars
Michael Billington, The Guardian
British Theatre Guide, October 2011