Following the success of The Old Woman, the Buffalo and the Lion of Manding, which toured with Adverse Camber in 2013 and 2016, we’re delighted to be joining forces again with Jan Blake, Kouame Sereba and Raymond Sereba! Adverse Camber is commissioning a brand new show, with support from The Albany and mac birmingham, which takes Sundiata’s story forward. The working title for this new show is The Lion of Manding: Exile, Magic and Power and it follows the path of the legendary Malian king, Sundiata Keita, discovering what it means to be a leader, growing in skills and wisdom whilst travelling in exile with his family across the African kingdoms of Ghana, Méma and Sosso.
Jan Blake’s storytelling, praised for its dynamism and passion will be interwoven with the rich repertoire of traditional West African songs and music conjured by Kouame and Raymond, and a celebration of instruments, including djembes, flutes, guitars, bells and the dodo mouth bow. The developing plans for touring (scheduled for October 2019) include potential to integrate a local choir into each performance, adding a whole new layer of energy, excitement and engagement for audiences across the UK.
Read what Jan Blake says is at the heart of this new piece of work:
I seek to create work in which music, story and community are seen as a whole and thrive in the moment, bringing together different forms of creative and cultural expression, often from divided perspectives or very different kinds of experience. The dynamic of my collaboration with Raymond and Kouame is at the heart of this – they grew up with this story in Africa, I bring a UK/Caribbean perspective. Integrating a choir into our ensemble, a new development, juxtaposes a pre-slavery story and traditional West African music with gospel, a music that has grown from the slave experience, creating rich cross-cultural explorations.
Jan, Raymond and Kouame are continuing their work developing this new show in Norway in February and in London in March 2018, with support from Adverse Camber’s co-commissioners for this project The Albany and mac birmingham. After an initial week of working together, the artist will share an extract at The Albany’s sister venue, Canada Water Theatre on Friday 9 March at 7pm, see the details of the event, Hatched: Jan Blake here.