Marking the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the SS Empire Windrush, the ship that brought the first large group of immigrants from the Caribbean to the UK

Internationally-acclaimed, Leeds-based Phoenix Dance Theatre will present a World Premiere at West Yorkshire Playhouse next month as 2018 marks the 70th Anniversary of the arrival of SS Empire Windrush to the UK.

Windrush was the ship that brought the first large group of immigrants from the Caribbean and famously began the post-war immigration boom that was to radically change British society.

The production begins in Jamaica showing the response to the newspaper adverts for the SS Empire Windrush; busy and excited scenes are juxtaposed with personal stories – family farewells and people left behind. The 492 immigrants were invited by the UK government, but were not always welcomed  and the production will capture the daily exclusion and racism the newcomers faced.

Dancers will create unforgettable characters that take the audience from Jamaica to the UK celebrating how the Windrush generation began to create their own opportunities, setting up churches, introducing their own music and dance and establishing a ‘black culture’.

From 1948 to the present day; from Calypso to RnB via Blues, Ska and Reggae, composer Gary Crosby OBE with Christella Listras from Caution Collective support the story with an uplifting soundtrack to the lives of the Caribbean British people and wider Black British Communities.

Windrush: Movement of the People fuses music and dance to create an inspiring production that uses a multi-cultural cast to tell an international story, and celebrates a culture that is now part of the country’s fabric.

The World Premiere of Windrush: Movement of the People is at West Yorkshire Playhouse

7 – 10 February 2018 at 7.30p

Book online at wyp.org.uk or call Box Office on 0113 213 77 00



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