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News Report Page 12 of 26
Publication Date:- 2018-31-03
News reports located on this page = 2.

Black Men Walking tour culminates in Liverpool after selling out venues nationwide

ECLIPSE Theatre ends its UK tour of 'Black Men Walking' at Unity Theatre in Liverpool, from Thursday, 26 April to Saturday, 28 April 2018, having sold out many venues across the UK. It is the 1st 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' premiered this January at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, before embarking on a tour of 12 UK venues, including the Royal Court Theatre in London. Unity Theatre will be the final venue on the tour, having sold out at the Royal Exchange, the West Yorkshire Playhouse and Nottingham Playhouse.

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 1 man show about feminism, WOKE, which fused powerful 1st 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 4 person cast.

It tells the compelling story of 3 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 2 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.

The cast includes:- Tyrone Huggins [Prospero in 'The Tempest' for Improbable / Northern Stage / Oxford Playhouse; Gloucester, in the Young People's Shakespeare's 'King Lear' for the Royal Shakespeare Company] as Thomas; Trevor Laird [Lloyd Boateng in 'One Man, 2 Guvnors' for the National Theatre; BBC One's 'Death in Paradise,' as Matthew and Tonderai Munyevu, Narrator in Bizet's Carmen at the 'Grange Festival - Sizwe Banzi Is Dead,' an Eclipse Theatre Company / Young Vic co-production; as Richard. Completing the cast is Dorcas Sebuyange, Hayleigh in 'The Elasticated Sound System' for 20 Storeys High.

Dawn Walton commented that:- "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, especially when you look at the recent online backlash faced by Mary Beard who was accused of 're-writing history' by pointing out the ethnic diversity of Roman Britain. This reaction is evidence of a real lack of understanding about our true British heritage. Open a history book and you'll see that the Roman empire, Britain included, featured people from Ethiopia, Algeria and beyond. 1 of the earliest influences for Revolution Mix was Peter Fryer's seminal book, 'Staying Power', which unearths a compelling history of Black people in Britain over the last 2,000 years. The opening line of the book is 'There were Africans in Britain before the English came here." That one statement is so wonderfully provocative and for me, it set the wheels in motion for us to produce a body of work that will bring to stage and screen an erased history. This is just the 1st of several new works from Revolution Mix set to tour in 2018, which is also the 70th anniversary of the arrival of Windrush, a milestone which is often celebrated as the start of modern multicultural Britain. Acting as the antithesis to this, Revolution Mix will delve deeper to explore Black British history long before, and since, Windrush, offering a new perspective and insight into the full Black British experience."

There are currently 14 Revolution Mix writers working with 11 partner organisations across the UK delving into 500 years of Black British history to produce an ambitious body of work including theatre plays, short films and radio plays, with more work set to tour in 2018 and beyond.

'Revolution Mix' is supported The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation; Arts Council England; Heritage Lottery Fund; Fenton Arts Trust and Unity Theatre Trust.

Black Men Walking opens at Unity Theatre on 26 April 2018, at 8pm. Tickets are priced ₤14 (₤12 concessions) and can be purchased from:- UnityTheatreLiverpool.Co.UK or by calling:- 0151 709 4988. Some tickets still available, at time of publishing, but selling fast!

Spring clean for area's Motorways

THE Highways England joined forces with Keep Britain Tidy and have been taking part in its 'Great British Spring Clean' with the M61 and M602 in Greater Manchester and M6 in Lancashire being targeted as part of the campaign.

Around 200,000 bags of litter are collected every year from the Motorway network. Over the last few weeks, in the run up to Easter, more than 100 extra bags of litter have been collected between Junctions 1 and 3 of the M61, around the M60 and Kearsley Spur, Junctions 2 to 3 of the M602, near Eccles, and Junction 28 of the M6 near Leyland.

Over March 2018 Highways England and its teams all over the country have collected an additional 8,129 bags of litter, despite the severe weather and have also produced this video. This video gives a 1st hand account of what it's like collecting litter from the side of the Motorway network.

Highways England's head of customer and operational requirements, Freda Rashdi, said:- "We are pleased to be able to support the Great British Spring Clean by organising litter picking activities across the country, especially at our key hotspot areas. We already collect vast amounts of litter from Motorways every year but we'd much rather be spending our time carrying out other essential maintenance work. The litter on our roads can cause a hazard to drivers, our workers and wildlife, so I'd urge everyone to keep a bag in their car which they can use for rubbish, and then put it in the bin when they get home to improve the experience of all drivers who use our roads."

Highways England has also released a time lapse video on YouTube that shows the build up of litter at Junction 2 of the M606, near Bradford, in West Yorkshire, a known litter hotspot.

The video features 'grab cam' footage where a camera was secured to a litter grabber to show a few of the thousands of individual pieces of litter collected every year.

Allison Ogden Newton, chief executive at Keep Britain Tidy said:- "I'm delighted that Highways England has joined forces with us to support this year's campaign. It is shocking that people still think its ok to throw litter from a vehicle, which creates substantial additional cost for Highways England, threatens other road users and harms the wildlife that lives in our roadside verges. I'm really looking forward to working with Highways England to clean up our roads and inspire many more people to use a bin or simply take their rubbish home. Over 200,000 sacks of litter are collected by our contractors every year; that's around 550 bags every day or 110 bags per mile of Highways England Motorway network. At approximately ₤40 per bag; roughly the same cost as fixing a pothole; it's not cheap and could be best spent on other maintenance projects. Litter causes a threat to wildlife and leads to flooding if drains become blocked. It also puts workers who are collecting the rubbish from the side of busy Motorways at risk. A plastic bottle, if not collected, can take 450 years to biodegrade."

As a nation, we need to stop dropping litter, as it is not only hazardous to the environment and ourselves, but it also looks unsightly and it gives a very bad impression to international visitors and locals alike. Not only that, but please also consider that the money could be better spent on other priorities, like better public transport and fixing pot holes and keeping your Tax down!

So please don't drop your litter, take it home and bin it at home or in a road side bin... This report could be from any of our roads and highways, including those within the Merseyside area.

Did you know? Highways England is responsible for collecting litter from Motorways. Local authorities are responsible for the management of litter on all purpose trunk roads. For further information about Highways England's role in stopping and also cleaning up the litter on our network, click here for a .PDF booklet all about it.  

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