A new show with music supported by Arts Council England.
A collaboration between Storytree, Four of Swords and The Bluebirds.
Two dynamic women, a mirror and a wrinkle in time. Nzingabeth is a fictitious, musical meeting between two queens: The formidable Elizabeth I of England and the proud African Queen Ana Nzinga.
This moving and funny play challenges racial and gender stereotypes.
Expect wig swapping, sumptuous costumes and great music.
Elizabeth led England into a cultural and political age Golden Age.
Ana, a fierce warrior, rejected European control with an army of freed slaves.
They miraculously meet in a dressing room away from the public eye and discuss everything from war and politics to lovers and lipstick.
Each queen has a musician and over the course of the show, the music becomes a fusion of African and Tudor.
Sasha Herriman runs music-theatre company The Bluebirds. In 2014 she masterminded Arts Council funded family musical Mrs Noah and the Flood. She originally devised the idea for Nzingabeth from an Elizabethan Cabaret show.
”I was fascinated by the position of two women in power at a time of historical disenfranchisement, and the fact that in both Europe and Africa women were able to successfully take the reins of power against all odds”
Gloria Lawrence is a Somerset singer and story-teller. With her company Storytree she delivers education workshops to schools and colleges. As a singer Gloria does a regular Bob Marley tribute called Missy Marley.
”As a British born woman growing up I never knew black history existed. With Nzingabeth I wanted to re-address the balance, to show there is a strong positive depiction of black people and demonstrate there are many strong black role models in history - not only as slaves and victims in chains, but as strong intelligent leaders”
Philip Kingslan John, the director, is one half of successful Exeter-based Four of Swords Theatre company, which specialises in multi-media adaptations of classic stories. Four of Swords has been nominated for best arts organisation in the city by Exeter Living Awards.
“I was immediately grabbed by the simplicity of the idea and the chance to create a pertinent intercultural piece of theatre at this time of political and multi cultural tension”