Muscovado: a new play about slavery in Barbados, for Black History Month
  • London Fringe

New play about the Caribbean slave trade to be performed in William Wilberforce's church as part of Black History Month

It takes sixteen months for the sugarcane to ripenAfter the sugar has cured " we are left with a dark brown block, this is muscovado

Barbados, 1808. Enter Miss Kittys parlour on the Fairbranch Plantation of St Lucy; house slaves Nanny G and Asa are preparing for the arrival of an important guest from England; Willa a young slave girl is desperate to be in the family portrait; Parson Lucy is holding religious tuition over tea and sugar biscuits; Field slave Elsie wants to remember how to dream again.

BurntOut Theatre presents Muscovado by Matilda Ibini, an original play about the British involvement in the slave trade, performed at Holy Trinity Church, Clapham Common where William Wilberforce began his abolition campaign. The play will sewn through with an original musical score by James Reynolds, performed live by a choir.

Set between the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act and the abolition of slavery, Muscovado is about the tragedy of knowing freedom but never experiencing it; of finding beauty in the darkest shadows.

Go to that room in your mind where your body cant follow. Lock the door and wait for me there.

Dates: 1,2,3,6,7,8,9,10 October

Time: 7.30pm

Venue: Holy Trinity Church, Clapham Common, SW4 0QZ

Access: The church has step-free access, wheelchair access, and a disabled toilet.

The production will be BSL translated on Monday 6th October at 7.30pm.

Tickets: 10, 8 Concessions (Students, Over 60s, in receipt of disability benefits)

Buy tickets for Muscovado via

Tickets also available in person in Holy Trinity Church Parish Office between 9.30am-1pm. Seating is unreserved.

"The abolition of the slave trade in 1807 felt like a hollow promise to slaves, as the passing of the act and its intention didnt have immediate impact. The play explores the tragedy of knowing freedom but never experiencing it and the blissful ignorance some slaves lived in just to survive. " - Writer Matilda Ibini

Muscovado was commissioned by BurntOut Theatre's Artistic Director Clemmie Reynolds following the discovery of archives from her family's history in Barbados. It has been developed through R&D workshops, historical support from slave trade expert Steve Martin and the V&A Museum; dramaturgical support from Graeae and Farnham Maltings, and scratch performances at Young Vic Theatre and V&A Museum.

The production will feature original music by emerging composer for theatre and television James Reynolds (ITV, BBC, C4), performed live by a choir.

An ambitious and interesting project...we absolutely applaud your efforts " Adrian Lester and Lolita Chakrabarti, Lesata Productions

Tickets available via


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