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South West tour of multicultural project Dream Nation

  • Date: 23 December 2013
  • Area: London, South West
Dream Nation, Tangle, 2013. Performance at Yinka Shonibare MBE (RA)'s Guest Projects in London

Dream Nation, Tangle, 2013. Performance at Yinka Shonibare MBE (RA)'s Guest Projects in London. Credit: Photo by David Bevan courtesy of Tangle

Two specially commissioned theatrical performances inspired by Martin Luther King's 'I Have a Dream' and penned by the UK's leading African and Caribbean writers goes on tour in the new year. 

DREAM NATION is a project, supported by Arts Council England's National Lottery funded Grants for the arts scheme, that encourages people across the South West to creatively respond to Martin Luther King's landmark speech in honour of its 50th anniversary.

The project is run by Tangle, an African-Caribbean touring theatre company based in Somerset. The company provides new creative opportunities for communities across South West England to engage with and celebrate the UK's rich racial diversity.

Project partners for DREAM NATION include Arts Council England National portfolio organisations Take Art in Somerset; Beaford Arts in Devon; Salisbury Playhouse in Wiltshire; and Anvil Arts as well as Proteus Theatre Company who is leading the project in Hampshire.

The two new works are inspired mixtures of original acapella song, poetry and theatre. Writers include Patricia Cumper MBE; Inua Ellams; Rex Obano; Chino Odimba; Louisa Adjoa Parker; Christopher Rodriguez; Paula B Stanic; and Andrew Whaley. Music is arranged and composed by Allyson Devenish and the Director is Anna Coombs.

DREAM NATION will tour throughout venues in South West England during 2014, in collaboration with South West England's Partnership for Multi Racial Theatre, a consortium of 20 arts organisations in Hampshire, Wiltshire, Somerset and Devon.

The tour will feature performances from the company's talented ensemble of actor-singers, Tangle Company.  

The first performance will take place at Proteus Theatre Company in Basingstoke on 3 February at 7pm. The DREAM NATION tour will last until May.

Alongside performances, Tangle will also run creative workshops in which participants will be invited to write haikus about their vision of change and what Dr King's speech means to them.

Over 600 people are expected to take part in the project. The haikus particpants create will be published as an ebook and displayed on a specially commissioned travelling installation, created by stage designer Colin Falconer. This installation will tour the region alongside the performances, illuminating the region's call to action for a more cohesive and progressive society.

The new works were officially launched this November at Yinka Shonibare MBE (RA)'s Guest Projects in London.

Anna Coombs, Artistic Director at Tangle, tells us more.

She says, 'The project is about enabling rural arts organisations and their audiences to collaboratively envision and celebrate local, contemporary society from a 'multi-racial' perspective.

'The works are designed as pop up pieces, using the Township theatre style. So we've tried to find performance spaces that are more informal. Our first gig is a converted Victorian school with an exhibition space. We wanted a space that enables a true connection between the artists and audience.

Dream Nation takes place from January to May 2013 across the South West in Hampshire, Wiltshire, Somerset and Devon. For more information, see tangleinternational.com/participation/dream-nation/