Winner of the 2018 Alfred Fagon Award, Rockets and Blue Lights is an extraordinary new play from one of the UK’s most trailblazing playwrights, Winsome Pinnock. Launching the Spring/ Summer Season at the Royal Exchange, Pinnock’s award-winning work retells British history through the prism of the slave trade.
An extraordinary new play from Winsome Pinnock.
Seamlessly shifting through time, Rockets and Blue Lights explores Great Britain’s role in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade from three different perspectives. Winsome Pinnock superbly weaves together the stories of Lou, a 21st-century actress who finds herself bound by historical legacy; Thomas, a sailor longing for the sea, living in Victorian Britain, and an ageing J.M.W Turner, who yearns for artistic inspiration.
Director Miranda Cromwell makes her Royal Exchange debut with this powerful and poetic play. Kiza Deen (The Phlebotomist) will take on the role of Lou, with Karl Collins (Nine Night) as Thomas and Paul Bradley (EastEnders) as the celebrated painter JMW Turner. The play also features BAFTA and Golden Globes nominee Cathy Tyson.
This performance invites us to question how the past is presented and who has the right to tell its stories.
Juxtaposing fact with fiction, the personal with the political, and the past with the present, this performance invites us to question how the past is presented and who has the right to tell its stories.
It feels very apt that this world premiere production will be performed in the Royal Exchange, where, in the mid-1800s, it is estimated that 80% of the world trade in finished cotton took place.
Because of the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, we are unable to bring you our usual recommendations for things to do in Manchester and the North. Our thoughts at this time are with our readers and with the organisations and businesses who make the North of England a great place to live and visit. We hope you stay well and look forward to sharing more unmissable events and places with you later in the year.
Here’s our guide to supporting organisations in Manchester and the North.
Please note – many of the venues on our site will be closed and events either postponed or cancelled. Please check the venue website for details.