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Black History Month Community Day – Saturday 8 October
Celebrating Plays of Excellence – Sunday 9 October
A Final Act of Friendship – Tuesday 11 October
Black is the Color of my Voice – Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 October
Free Foyer performances – Monday 17 – Saturday 29 October
Curve has announced a programme of performances, events and free activities to mark Black History Month this October.
Led by Black artists, the programme will celebrate Black communities of Leicester and Leicestershire, with entertainment and cultural experiences for all.
Black History Month celebrations kick off at Curve on Saturday 1 October, which sees the final performance of Frantic Assembly’s Othello – co-produced with Curve – before it embarks on an Autumn tour around the country.
On Saturday 8 October Curve will host a Black History Month Community Day, with free events and activities taking place across the building from 12 – 5pm. The Community Day will include storytelling sessions for children, spoken word poetry, dance, live music and more led by local Black artists and practitioners. All activities will be free of charge but visitors are encouraged to book certain events.
Sunday 9 October will see a rehearsed reading of Winsome Pinnock’s Leave Taking shared in Curve’s RR2 as part of Celebrating Plays of Excellence. Following public nominations to find the most important pieces written by Black playwrights, Leave Taking was selected by a panel including Leicester multidisciplinary artist Carol Leeming, incoming Chair of Curve’s Board of Trustees Sita McIntosh and Director Ameera Conrad. A callout for local actors will be announced on Curve’s website in due course – for more information email [email protected].
Ameera Conrad, who will direct the rehearsed reading, said:
“Leave Taking by Winsome Pinnock is a brilliant play by one of the UK’s most prolific Black writers. It’s a thrilling opportunity to be working on a play from an artist who has dramatically impacted the landscape of British theatre. Leave Taking is a beautiful exploration of how we have to shed things to find ourselves.
“Work like this is invaluable all year round – it makes us all more empathetic and open to one another, work like this tears down the walls built between communities of different people, and I’m so excited to be even a small part of the Black History Month programme at Curve.”
A Final Act of Friendship comes to Curve on Tuesday 11 October. Inspired by the #BlackLivesMatter movement in 2020, Stephen Hayward’s play explores difficult conversations around race and privilege, as well as the importance of sticking up and showing up for your friend at all costs.
From Monday 17 to Tuesday 18 October, Apphia Campbell’s acclaimed Black is the Color of my Voice comes to Curve following sell-out runs in the West End, Shanghai and New York. Inspired by the life of Nina Simone, Black is the Color of my Voice follows Simone’s journey from young piano prodigy to singer and civil rights activist, featuring live performances of iconic songs.
As part of the Black History Month programme at the theatre, Curve will also present free Foyer performances from local Black artists and musicians across the run of hit musical Sister Act, which comes to Curve Monday 17 to Saturday 29 October.
Beyond Leicester, audiences across the country can experience Curve and Birmingham Hippodrome‘s award-winning and critically acclaimed co-production The Color Purple, as it continues its first ever tour across England and Wales. Thanks to support from Arts Council England’s National Lottery Funding the tour visits six new cities between Tuesday 13 September and Saturday 5 November.
Speaking about Black History Month at Curve, Chief Executive Chris Stafford and Artistic Director Nikolai Foster said:
“This October we are proud to be part of Leicester’s contribution to the global programme of Black History Month events.
“As always, our 2022 events put our local community at the forefront; the free Community Day launches this year’s programme with a vibrant array of plays, musicals and dance.
“We are delighted to be working in partnership with Serendipity on this year’s Black History Month programme and we are indebted to Arts Council England and Leicester City Council for their ongoing support.”
To find out more information about Black History Month at Curve, visit https://www.curveonline.co.uk/get-involved/black-history-month-22/