Mixed Blessings Theatre Group

"Let justice be done though the heavens may fall" First Earl of Mansfield  after declaring the Somerset ruling of  1772

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Brighton Fringe Festival

A Play by the Mixed Blessings Theatre Group

Let Justice Be Done

"Slavery is a weed that grows on every soil"

At the Friends Meeting House, Ship Street, Brighton, BN1 1AF

Monday May 19th 2008

Tuesday May 20th 2008

Wednesday May 21st 2008

Sunday May 25th 2008

To book tickets go to http://www.brightonfestivalfringe.org.uk

Or Phone  01273 709709

 

Doors open at 1930 hours

Play starts at 2000

 

Contact via Email 

The Mixed Blessings Theatre Group came about when myself and Maureen Hicks, a friend and old work colleague got together to write a play about the life and times of Dido Elizabeth Belle, a young mixed race woman who just might have influenced one of the greatest historical decisions, one that bought about the start of the Abolition of Slavery.

The idea came about when I recieved a magazine from English Heritage with an article on Kenwood House along with photos of Dido and her history, which included the fact that she helped her Uncle the First Earl of Mansfield with his paperwork and was well educated, despite being illigitimate, the daughter of a slave, as well as being mixed race.

The first Earl of Mansfield Dido's Great Uncle helped bring about the beginning of the end of slavery by preciding over the Somerset Case in the late 1700s where he declared that slavery in England was illegal.

 

From May 2007 until October 2007 Maureen and I met each week at Tin Drum  in St James Street, Brighton and discussed how how we would go about writing and eventually producing the play. 

The title of the play was "Let Justice Be Done" based on the words of the Earl of Mansfield who is allegedly supposed to have said "Let justice be done though the heavens may fall" when he made his ruling on the Somerset Case.

The play revolves around a fictional account (but based on well researched historical facts) of Dido Elizabeth Belle and the influence she might have had on the Abolition of Slavery in England in 1807.

A chance meeting with the ardent abolishihonist Olaudah Equiano awakens in Dido a sense of her own self and guided by the ghost of her mother Belle she makes a journey of self discovery which includes an incident with a racist American Plantation owner, and the knowledge that without her powerful Uncle's influence and her aristrocratic blood ties she would be nothing more than a common slave.

Maureen Hicks was the principal writer, but the play is very much a joint effort, and with the finalisation of the play itself we decided that we wanted to get a Community input on our work so in October 2007 we had what we called a "Read and Feast" event at Momma Cherrie's Sould Food Shack in little East Street Brighton.

We were funded by Sussex Black Police Association SBPA for the feast and by Redemption Song Program for other expenses such as paying for Sussex Police Cadets to do the "read" part of the event which was a turning point for Maureen and I as we realised that after the "read" we wanted to do a youth production of the play.

We had been lucky enough that The Scarman Trust in the South East also gave us some funding to put toward putting on a dramatisation of the play and we made a momentous decision, we wanted the play to be incorportated into the Brighton Fringe Festival 2008 .

On another note Wikipedia is a great way too look up interesting facts about the Slave Trade so give it a go, you just might get hooked!