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Freedom on the Tyne (2017)

On Sunday 29th October a great drama engulfed NewcastleGateshead, inspired by Dr Martin Luther King Jr. and epic civil rights struggles from across the globe, both past and present.

Out of the buildings and through the streets of NewcastleGateshead unfolded a unique afternoon of theatre, music, dance, circus and art to celebrate the courage and sacrifice of those who have led the long march for civil rights. Starting from different locations across the city, the stories from Selma, Alabama 1965, Amritsar, India 1919, Sharpeville, South Africa 1960, Peterloo, Manchester 1819, and the Jarrow March, Tyneside 1936 were woven together in a unique immersive performance featuring a local cast of hundreds.

As night fell, an uplifting climax on the Tyne Bridge brought the city to a standstill for a memorable moment of light, sound and theatre.

As musical director and composer for the event I was able to work with a brilliant creative team including: Tim Supple (Director), Roy Williams (Writer), Debbie Fionn Barr, Alison Ashton, Phil Supple as well as a fantastic community cast and fantastic North East artists and practitioners Annie Rigby, Dr. Hannabiell Sanders, Holly Irving, Amy Golding, the brilliant folks at Northern Roots, Broadside Balladress Jennifer Reid, Voices of Virtue Gospel Choir and socialist singer Bethanie Elen Coyle. Last but not least, the unforgettable All or Nothing Aerial Dance and New York's Decadance theatre.

By far the largest scale event I've created music for and a truly memorable afternoon and evening for all concerned. You can hear music from rehearsals and the event itself here:

Images courtesy of North News, Richard Kenworthy and Anna Miller Photographer

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