Five powerful reasons to see Dream of a King in London
Find out why you need to catch this powerful play when it arrives at The Hen and Chickens Theatre and Tristan Bates Theatre
4th April 1968. Martin Luther King Jr is assassinated four years after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for his dynamic leadership of the Civil Rights Movement.
Find out from writer and performer Christopher Tajah why you cannot miss this informative and thought-provoking solo play when it arrives at London's Tristan Bates Theatre and The Hen and Chickens Theatre.
1. To be inspired by the story of a great man
Martin Luther King Jr spoke for those who were unable to speak for themselves, in order to make their lives better. If you're in need of inspiration in your own life to deal with everything thrown at you, come and witness King's example of fighting the powers that be.
As he fought to improve people's civil and human rights in the face of hostile racism, witness how he achieved such impactful social change by using peaceful demonstrations that benefited America and the wider society. Be empowered to make changes to your own life and the world around you through King's example.
2. To find out why this message continues to be relevant to us today
King's message was one of inclusivity. Come to remember that unity is strength and we are all part of society. Come to discover more about his message through discussion and the exchange of ideas with friends, family and other members of the audience during the interval and after the show.
Unlike the events in recent days – the scapegoating and exile of people from a particular minority ethnic group – Martin Luther King Jr was for inclusion, acceptance, rehabilitation, education and economic parity, social justice, civil rights, love and understanding.
3. Come to see a riveting solo performance
Dream of a King reveals so much about both the character and the performer. In terms of the performer, a great deal of energy, concentration and commitment is required for this story to be told. I wrote Dream of a King as a solo play because I believe that it is uniquely suited for telling this chapter of King's life.
Martin Luther King Jr was larger than life when he was alive, and in death his prominence has grown tenfold. It felt right to make the play a solo piece, as he is the focal constant of the play, and along with Gandi and Malcolm X, the Civil Rights movement is dominated by him. I thought that if he is the centre, it would allow the audience to get some idea of the demands and pressures he was under at the time of his passing, whilst getting a sense of his vulnerability.
As part of the audience, you will be carried through his incredible highs and to his shocking demise as he was brutally cut down in his prime. My performance has been described as 'haunting', as I strive to keep the audience fully engaged from lights up to the play's terrible conclusion.
Have a glimpse at the trailer:
4. For anyone with an interest in African-American history of the 50s and 60s
Experience the volatile, racist and hostile treatment that black minority ethnic people had to live through during a period of great political turmoil and upheaval. By recalling that moment in the world's history, we see the danger of not safeguarding ourselves against injustice, discrimination, bigotry and prejudice against people of different skin colour, gender, sex or creed.
As we can see today in America and across Europe, there has been a rise in right-wing politics and racist attacks as a result. By seeing Dream of a King, we can look back at what the world was like then, and how King fought against war, poverty and racism to make a better world for everyone. This play reminds us that the war against racism has not yet been won.
5. For a great family night out at the theatre
As American Civil Rights is on the school curriculum, this is the perfect production for young people in education to witness and attend. I consider my performance as a kind of passing on of King's legacy to the next generation, and feel that this is a great opportunity to learn while being entertained by the story of a great man. Dream of a King is a show without gimmicks, that's delivered with passion, verve and dynamism to invigorate the human spirit.