GOOD NEWS: RED LADDER IS BACK
Having postponed our latest touring production My Voice Was Heard But It Was Ignored in 2020 due to Covid restrictions, we are delighted to tell you that we’re back on and opening in our home city of Leeds in November
My Voice Was Heard But It Was Ignored was developed as part of a year-long writing commission for Manchester’s Box Of Tricks Theatre and staged as a rehearsed reading at HOME, Manchester, in January 2020 where our Artistic Director, Rod Dixon, was part of an invited audience.
“I felt that it was such an important piece of work exploring race and identity; it thrusts the audience into the centre of a discussion and asks ‘if you see something you do not agree with, do you intervene?’ says Rod.
The stage debut of writer Nana-Kofi Kufuor; My Voice Was Heard But It Was Ignored is an interrogation of black identity for which he has drawn on his own experience growing up in Stockport with Ghanian parents and working in education with young people from a range of backgrounds.
“The crux of this play is how two people react to the same situation,” Kofi explains. “They go on a journey, a journey a lot of people of colour go on, a realisation that where you are now isn’t necessarily where you come from.”
My Voice Was Heard But It Was Ignored opens with 15-year-old Reece (Jelani D’Aguilar) being roughly accosted by police. His young, Black teacher Gillian (Misha Duncan-Barry) witnesses it all but doesn’t question or intervene as the disturbing scene plays out. The consequences of her lack of action erupt the following day when Gillian finds herself locked in a classroom with Reece.
Director Dermot Daly says: “I was really taken by the conceit and breadth of themes and ideas. Thematically it’s huge, but ostensibly it’s about the meaning and creation of identity which is something that affects us all. Neither character is who they want to be but both appear to be trapped, robbed of agency, this perception in them and hopefully of the audience shifts quite dramatically as we progress. Worry not, there are a few gags in there.”
“For five decades Red Ladder has been producing new writing by voices whose work is often unheard,” Rod concludes. “So we’re very excited to be working with Nana-Kofi Kufuor on a piece borne of a real life experience.”
Opens at Leeds Playhouse on 11th – 13th November then on tour.