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The Ancestors

Being Human festival 2021: The Ancestors: exploring Black History through theatre

Online Panel discussion, 15th November 2021

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Two cast members in costume at Portchester CastlePhoto credit Myah Jeffers

The panel discussion reflected on Freedom & Revolution, a joint project by the University of Warwick, English Heritage and National Youth Theatre exploring the hidden Black history of Portchester Castle near Portsmouth through a new play that re-thinks race and gender in the French Revolution. The play, The Ancestors, written by Lakesha Arie-Angelo and directed by Jade Lewis, was rehearsed, staged and filmed at the Castle in August 2021 with a cast of young performers aged 18-25 from National Youth Theatre’s network of creative young people. The discussion illuminated the power of theatre to communicate humanities research to new audiences. It explored how the partnership can be a model for creative collaboration and how combining research and co-creation can be empowering for young Black people.

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