Medway African and Caribbean Association in partnership with Mrs Baker’s Medway Theatre Company Ltd, are pleased to announce a new production called ‘The Showman and the Chartist’ – written and directed by Company Director Kate Mechedou.
‘The Showman and the Chartist’ has been commissioned by MACA (Medway African and Caribbean Association), who secured funding from Historic England/Arts Council Heritage Fund via Medway Council. The one-act, two-character, 60-minute play is a fictionalised portrayal of a meeting between two real-life Victorian people – Charles Dickens and political agitator, Leader of the London Chartists, William Cuffay. The play is part of events taking place this weekend as part of Heritage Action Zone weekend in Chatham.
MACA recently unveiled a memorial plaque in honour of William Cuffay, that was created by the Nubian Jak memorial trust to commemorate the 150th year of his death in 2020.
Both Cuffay and Dickens died 150 years ago and the charity had been exploring the concept of a fictional meeting of the two for some time.
“This play has been a long time in the making, as part of a campaign to raise awareness of stories of notable black residents of Medway. The struggles of William Cuffay certainly deserve a wider audience. Comparing and contrasting his life with that of iconic Medway local Charles Dickens will promote lots of discussion on the nature of celebrity and the best ways for people to effect social change” said Carol Stewart, MACA Chair.
The cast is Charles Dickens: Paul Lavers (former Medway resident and professional actor) William Cuffay: Christopher Tajah (Creator of an award-winning play about Martin Luther King, and recently ‘Under Heaven’s Eye’ inspired by Black Lives Matter and the murder of George Floyd).
The first three free performances will take place at a theatre visited by Dickens – at the Royal Function Rooms, Star Hill, Rochester, as part of the Intra Heritage Action Zone programme 2021 Performance. There will be a further performance on Saturday 16th October at the Chatham Historic Dockyard.
Sankofa 15th Annual Young Black Achievers Awards 2021
Saturday 23rd October at Mid Kent college.
Closing date for nominations is 30th September.
We are delighted to be supported again by Midkent College and Medway Council Black Workers’ Forum. We are still looking for sponsors for this prestigious event. Every year we receive some amazing nominations and in the past 14 years have given out over 100 awards plus! so help us to grow and celebrate the achievements of young black people across Kent and Medway
To nominate a young person please see details of award rules, categories and criteria below. Nominations can be sent by completing the online form below.
Want to perform at the awards ceremony? or know someone who would like to perform? get in touch!
Every Tuesday from 1pm to 4pm
Meets at The Sunlight Centre.
Light refreshments are available along with group activities such as dominoes, bingo, sewing, speakers on health matters and other matters of interest.
There is a small fee to attend the sessions and for any extra activities and outings. The group is run by volunteers from MACA.
Cuffay and Chatham exhibition
This exhibition about William Cuffay and Chatham features resources from Medway Archives Centre.
In July 1870 William Cuffay died in Hobart, Tasmania Australia. He was 82 year old, a tailor by trade and was born in Chatham.