The Powder Monkey Opera


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Essential information

Event type: 
Date and time: 
5 November | 7pm - 8.45pm
Adults £15 | Children £13 | Members £13
National Maritime Museum, The Great Map
Discount for members

The Powder Monkey is a new opera created by Brolly Productions, in collaboration with internationally acclaimed Black composer Errollyn Wallen MBE.

The Story

Chukwunenye, an African boy of the Igbo people, is the powder monkey born on a slave ship and now one voyage away from buying his freedom. As the slave ship nears port on the ‘middle’ passage there is an uprising by the enslaved and he must choose which side he will take; his people or his freedom?

Set on board a slave ship in 1788 this powerful new opera engages with the ‘sensitive’ history of Britain’s role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade and places the Black male character of the ‘powder monkey’ centre stage of this diverse cast.

The Powder Monkey opens up the classical opera form by infusing the score with the traditional music and languages of West Africa, the Indian subcontinent, the folk forms of Northern England and maritime creole work songs by classically trained musicians from those Asian and African traditions. featuring instruments such as the kora, sitar and djembe.

The opera excitingly integrates live performance, music and animation to create a stunning spectacle that engages with the rich musical diversity of contemporary Britain to bring new audiences to opera.

Creative Team

Brolly is made up of designer/illustrator Rachana Jadhav and writer/director Dominic Hingorani

Composer Errollyn Wallen M.B.E.

Sound Designer: Tate

Lighting Designer: Fred Beaufort

Digital Engineer: Ed Sunman

Movement Director: Mandy Short

Assistant Director: Jim Osman

Event Information:

Doors: 6.15pm

Start time: 7pm.

Run time: 60 minutes

Suitable for age 10+

The performance will be followed by a brief Q&A and there is a bar available. Entrance is through Romney Road, and the performance will be seated on the Great Map.