Venue: Unity Theatre
BlackFest: Launch & Scratch Night
BlackFest is a grassroots Liverpool Black arts festival founded in 2018, providing a platform and showcasing an eclectic mix of work from Black creatives, across community spaces and established venues.
The program includes dance, visual arts, music, film, spoken word and theatre.
The Festival answers a crucial need in the city’s cultural offering, celebrating Black arts and inclusion. This year’s festival, BlackFest will encompass active conversations and collaborations with established arts organisations.
BlackFest highlights work by, and creates new platforms for anyone who is marginalised for their race or ethnicity.
BlackFest opening night presents a 20 minute immersive exploration of Black experiences through dance, excerpts of spoken word poetry and music setting the tone the festival, followed by two plays that are works in progress.
Locks by Ashleigh Nugent
Ash Nugent is a writer and performer. Hi latest piece, Locks, is a semi-autobiographical novel and a one-man-show. Locks, the novel, won the 2013 Commonword Memoir Competition and was part published Writing on the Wall’sPulp Idol, Firsts in 2014. Locks, the show, debuted at Live Theatre in Newcastle in March 2019 to rave audience reviews:
“Incredible, informative, extremely moving.” “Urgent and important.” “Beautiful physicality and music and storytelling.”
Ash also works as a rapper and poet. In Nov 2019 his poem, Crime and Expectation, will be published in an anthology by CLINKS. The poem is inspired by the work Ash does in prisons and schools through his company RiseUp CiC. RiseUp use arts a vehicle to teach life changing techniques and make learning exciting and engaging. For more information please visit: www.riseupcic.co.uk
Half Moon by Tayo Aluko
The library of an English Stately Home.
The husband is the last in the line of an aristocratic family. His father has recently died, he and his wife are getting divorced, and they are discussing how to split the proceeds of the pending sale of the Estate, including the last two heirlooms. They are receiving and considering bids from governments and museums all over the world for these: a 4th Century Persian Bible, and a 3000year old Nubian death mask.
The spirit of the Nubian princess for whom the mask was was made appears to his wife. She talks to her, educates her about her family’s ancient expertise as astronomers, and tries to persuade her to keep the mask in order to reconnect Black youth with their history.
The husband returns with the news that an impossibly and irresistibly high offer has just been received for the mask… Is the history more important to preserve or give away to the highest bidder?
Tayo Aluko trained and practiced as an architect in Liverpool for many years.
As a singer, he has fronted orchestras as baritone soloist in concert halls, and performed lead roles in such operas and musicals. His one-man play, CALL MR ROBESON has won awards internationally, and was performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall in 2012. He is now also touring with another play titled JUST AN ORDINARY LAWYER, which celebrates Black and African Liberation Struggles worldwide, and has been performed on three continents. He originated a piece titled WHAT HAPPENS? featuring the writings of African American Langston Hughes, performed with live jazz accompaniment. He has been published in The Guardian, The Morning Star, NERVE Magazine, Modern Ghana and Searchlight Magazine.