Arts & Culture

Eclipse Theatre’s Black Men Walking tours to Oxford

By John Charlton

Eclipse Theatre comes to Oxford in April with Black Men Walking, the first work to be staged as part of the company’s ground-breaking ‘Revolution Mix’ movement which will deliver the largest ever national programme of Black British stories produced and performed in UK theatres.

An Eclipse Theatre and Royal Exchange Theatre co-production, Black Men Walking will tour to The North Wall in Summertown from on April 23 to 24, 2018.

Inspired by a real-life Black men’s walking group based in Sheffield, the piece has been conceived by Eclipse in collaboration with Leeds-based rapper, singer, producer and performer Testament. A rising star in the theatre landscape, Testament was most recently acclaimed for his one-man show about feminism, WOKE, which fused powerful first-person narrative with his signature beat-boxing and rapping.

Directed by Eclipse Theatre’s artistic director Dawn Walton, this new work mixes dramatic story-telling with original music written by Testament and performed by a four-person cast.

It tells the compelling story of three middle-aged Black men, Thomas, Matthew and Richard, who meet every month as part of a walking group to explore the dramatic landscape of the Peak District in Yorkshire. On this particular trip, the rest of group cancels, and it soon feels like maybe they should have done too. The men find themselves forced to walk backwards through two thousand years of Black history, embarking on a dangerous journey that invokes an element of the supernatural, an encounter with the spirits of their ancestors and an exploration of what it means to be both Black and British today.

Dawn Walton said “This powerful story perfectly encompasses everything the Rev Mix movement stands for; turning the spotlight onto Britain’s missing Black history with a piece inspired by real people and real events. It is so important that these stories are told”

Monday 23 – Tuesday 24 April 8pm
Tickets: £16/£13 concessions

Box Office: 01865 319450
The North Wall Arts Centre, South Parade, Oxford OX2 7JN