RIDE! Is a play about racism, a subject never absent from human interaction but which has come into sharp focus recently. Following the decision to leave the EU, naked aggression came to the fore with a 78% rise in race-hate crimes. Additionally, the British Government considered legislation to curtail immigration levels and to scrutinise percentages of non-British personnel working for UK firms.
In the US, Donald Trump was sensationally elected president, emboldening racial attacks, both verbal and physical, with extreme right-wing organisations such as the Klu-Klux-Klan re-emerging as a violently fascist presence.
RIDE! Takes a true story from the past, and re-imagines it for the present day. The history and background of this case are subject to intensive research, athough the dramatisation is a free adaptation, an imaginative reinterpretation uninhibited by factuality. The modern-day narrative was inspired by the racist murder of James Byrd, an African-American killed by white supremacists in Texas, June 1998. Byrd was chained to the back of a truck and dragged three miles along an asphalt road. Conscious throughout, he died when his body hit a culvert.
RIDE! Will dramatise the highly pertinent theme of racism. The play consists of a one-man show where an actor (Shaquille John) will deliver a monologue during which he will play different roles. The main thrust of the drama will be to provide a visceral account of the violence of racism. Performed by Shaquille John and directed by Charmaine K Parkin.
Supported by Arts Council England. Tickets are £11 plus booking fee, or £12 on the door.