Ewu, J. and Ukaegbu, V. (2008) Who Can Tell ...!: practical research performance exploring Black History experiences by JAWI Theatre Collective. Performance at: Who Can Tell ...! University of Northampton, 22-23 May 2008. Performers: Baptiste, Weekes, Agboluaje, Oladipo, Adewole, Funmi, Elliot, Jerry, McKenzie, Robert, Heathcote, David, Adams, Darren, Roach, Myrle, Franklin, Kascion, Aderoyeje, Florence, Marshall, Myles, Hawker, Christian and Berrill, Colleen
‘Who Can Tell ...!’ was a collaborative community theatre project based on oral interviews conducted by the Northampton Black History Association on the histories of black people in Northamptonshire and the UK in general. It highlighted amongst others the themes of migration and immigration, race relations, black cultural identities, collective consciousness, contemporary concerns and achievements. It was a collaboration between Northampton Black History Association who conducted and documented the initial oral interviews and Dr Jumai Ewu, and Dr Victor Ukaegbu as well as local artists, young people, members of the communities, professional and voluntary performers. Key characteristic features of the process include the journey of the spoken word through audio tapes and workshops to the stage; the use of a ‘community of voices’ and the stage to mediate history; the creative and imaginative exploration of ways by which to balance the contradictory requirement to maintain artistic and historical authenticity in the use of the materials on the one hand and the respect for people’s confidentiality on the other; creative collaboration at all levels of the production and the exploration of a popular language of performance.
In addition to performances at the Avenue Campus University of Northampton (May 2008), at Grendon Students Residential and The Castle Theatre, Wellingborough (October 2008), the project generated a Division of Performance Studies research paper on work in progress presented by Dr Jumai Ewu and Dr Victor Ukaegbue in June 2007. A book chapter is anticipated in Judith Ackroyd and John O’Toole (eds.) Re-evaluating ethnodrama - muddying the waters (forthcoming in 2009)
Also presented at: The Castle Theatre, Wellingborough, 03 October 2008, 11 October 2008 (Black History Month); Youth Residential Project, Grendon, Northants, 03 October 2008