16th Dec, 2017

Paying tribute to American icon Robeson

Correspondent 25th Mar, 2017

STEP out for Rous Lench village hall to see the fabulous Tayo Aluko and Friends pay tribute to the legendary black American actor, singer and civil rights activist Paul Robeson.

This acclaimed and moving piece of musical theatre features much fiery oratory and some of his famous songs, including a dramatic rendition of ‘Ol’ Man River’.

‘Call Mr. Robeson’ has been touring nationally and internationally since 2008 to great acclaim, resurrecting a great entertainer and his songs, and revealing many surprising things about his public, private and political life.

It paints him at once as an extraordinarily gifted and courageous genius, but also a man with many failings and foibles.

Paul Robeson was a world-famous actor, singer and civil rights campaigner. When over the years he got progressively too radical and outspoken for the establishment’s liking, he was branded a traitor to his country, harassed, and denied opportunities to perform or travel.

Just as physical, emotional and mental stress threatened to push him over the fine line between genius and madness, he was summoned to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee.

He said: “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…”

His later life turned tragic and he died in near obscurity, but his pioneering and heroic political activism has led many to describe him as the forerunner of the civil rights movement. British filmmaker Steve McQueen (’12 Years A Slave’) is to direct a biopic about Paul Robeson.

The performance is on Saturday (April 1) with doors open at 7.30pm curtain up at 8pm and the bar will be open.

Tickets are £12.50 / £10 (with or without light supper) and Rouse Lench village hall can be found at postcode WR11 4UN. Call 01386 793590 or 07946 499382 to book.

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