THIS FEBRUARY, playwright Juliet Gilkes Romero and director Kimberley Sykes join forces to bring a compelling new play to audiences in Stratford-upon-Avon and shed light on an aspect of British history which has rarely been considered.
Set at the dawn of the 19th century, Playwright and journalist Juliet Gilkes Romero’s The Whip reveals the uncomfortable truth about a multi-billion pound pay off promised to slave owners as compensation for the abolition of slavery, as a result of the 1833 Slavery Abolition Act. Astonishingly the slavery compensation bill, the biggest in UK history, was finally paid off by British taxpayers in February 2015.
Premiering in the Swan Theatre at the Royal Shakespeare Company on 1 February 2020, and running for an extremely limited seven weeks only, this searing historical drama follows two women, runaway slave Mercy Pryce and ex-cotton mill worker Horatia Poskitt, who forge an unlikely union and fight their way to the seat of political influence. Meanwhile, Whig Party Chief Whip Alexander Boyd attempts to steer the Bill through parliament, with the assistance of his ward, and runaway slave, Edmond. As morality and corruption erupt in a world of men hoping to profit from emancipation, the covered up death of a child in a northern cotton mill threatens to unravel all.
The personal collides with the political to thrilling end in this searing new period drama, which asks what the price of freedom is.
Tickets are available from the RSC website today.