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The Ancestors

Wednesday, October 25 - Monday, September 18, 2023 The Africa Centre

Written by Lakesha Arie-Angelo
Directed by Jade Lewis

Book now - Film Screening & Q&A at The Africa Centre

A clique of Caribbean maroon warrior women, a general of Haiti and his right hand man, an ex enslaved couple reclaiming their land, a group of Black French Caribbean soldiers held captive in Portchester and their wives travelling across the Atlantic to be reunited with them. These are The Ancestors- manifesting in our world, in the hopes we can stop history repeating itself, but do we really hold the key? What dark forces are still currently at play?

The Ancestors was originally written as a site-specific outdoor promenade theatre production exploring the voices of Black revolutionaries that history has continued to silence through the grounds of Portchester Castle. It was adapted into a filmed performance following an outbreak of COVID-19 in the company in summer 2021.

The production is designed by Libby Todd, with movement direction by Sara Dos Santos, music by composer Romarna Campbell, sound design by Munotida Chinyanga, dramaturgy by Gail Babb and Assistant Directors Anna Chauri Phillips and Udoka Maya.

The Ancestors is part of ‘Freedom and Revolution’, a Shout Out Loud initiative, and is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the David Toguri Bursary Fund. National Youth Theatre are grateful to their principal supporters Arts Council England, the Culture Recovery Fund and to Playful Productions for their support of The Ancestors.The research and development for The Ancestors has been supported by Shout Out Loud and the University of Warwick.

The Ancestors is part of Freedom and Revolution, a collaborative project in partnership with English Heritage Shout Out Loud and University of Warwick. It is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the David Toguri Bursary Fund. National Youth Theatre are grateful to their principal supporters Arts Council England, the Culture Recovery Fund and to Playful Productions for their support of The Ancestors.

Cast

Guede Iya - Jessica Manu
Esme - Junely Coker
Antoinette - Tolú Fagbayi
Clem - Keletso Kesupile
Breffu - Rebecca Daniel
Flore - Hana Jennings
Abigail - Thuliswa Magwaza
Florence, Someone 1, Black - Axelle Laurent
Young Son - George King
Guard, Prison Officer, Massa - Harrison Tipping&
Massa’s wife - Rosa Simonet
Lily, Youngest daughter - Nina Macpherson
Eldest Daughter - Emily Evans
Toussaint L’Ouvreture - Gael Mfula
André Rigoud - Jez Davess-Humphrey
Camerin, Somebody 2 - Jarmani Lee
Angelica - Evan Walker
Francis - Alexandre King
Dominic Sharkey - Thomas
Sebastian, Old Black Servant - Dalumuzi Moyo
Maurice - Oliver Samuel
Louis - Zac Looker
Ship Women:-
Morayo Adeagbo
Assa Kanoute
Christian Neal
Niastra Parsons
Paryce Richards
Alyssa Sibanda


Creative Team

Writer - Lakesha Arie-Angelo
Director - Jade Lewis

Production and Costumer Designer - Libby Todd

Movement Director - Sara Dos Santos

Composer & Sound Designer - Romarna Campbell

Additional Sound Design - Will Berger

Post Production - Black Apron Entertainment

Dramaturg - Gail Babb

Director Of Photography & Film Lead - Jay Jones & Phoebe Fleming

Sound Recordist - Nathan Powell

Camera Operator - Isaac Morrison

Costumer Supervisor - Nicole Garbett

Production Manager - Jack Greenyer

Technical Manager - Sean Laing

Company Stage Manager - Marina Dunford

Stage Manager - Ruth Collett

Assistant Director - Udoka Maya Okonkwo

Assistant Director - Anna Chauri Phillips

Deputy Stage Manager - Odette Robertson

Assistant Stage Manager - George Ruston

Costume Assistant & Dresser- Imogen Mason

Costume Assistant - Molly Tackleberry

Wardrobe Manager - Rebecca Cartwright

Wardrobe Manager - Naomi Gibbs

Make-Up Artist- Megan Burke

Covid Safety Officer - Tom McLean-Smith

Production Runner - Callum Hallett

Participation Assistant - Asiyah Sadak

Creative Producer for NYT - Anna Niland

National Youth Theatre Team - www.nyt.org.uk/team

R&D Director - Mumba Dodwell

R&D Sound Associate - Elaine Mitchener MBE

Sound Installation Munotida Chinyanga and Gabrielle Ngoo

University of Warwick Academic Researchers - Professor Katherine Astbury and Abigail Coppins

With thanks to Dominique Bouchard, Kirsty McCarrison & Amy Knight from English Heritage’s Shout Out Loud

In partnership with English Heritage’s Shout Out Loud and the University of Warwick

National Youth Theatre and English Heritage would like to thank the following people and organisations for enabling the creation of this filmed production of The Ancestors: The National Lottery Heritage Fund and National Lottery players; Arts and Humanities Research Council, part of UK Research and Innovation; University of Warwick; The David Toguri Bursary Fund and Playful Productions

Since summer 2020 National Youth Theatre, English Heritage and the University of Warwick have been working together on Freedom & Revolution, a project exploring the legacy of revolution and rebellion against slavery in the Caribbean as well as the prisoner of war experience through the lens of Portchester Castle. The creation and production of The Ancestors is the culmination of Freedom & Revolution. Freedom & Revolution is part of Shout Out Loud, a programme led by English Heritage for 11-25 year olds across England that supports them in exploring heritage sites and collections that are important to them. Shout Out Loud is funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, with additional support for Freedom & Revolution from the DCMS Youth Accelerator Fund and Google Arts & Culture

We would also like to thank Arts Council England for their support of National Youth Theatre

Venue

Various across the UK