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African Snow

Anthony Dunn of Riding Lights, visited the One Voice leaders prayer meeting on 7th March ’07. He presented to us that they are embarking on an ambitious new production tour called African Snow. It marks the 200th anniversary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act.

Anthony said, “It’s very exciting, in our 30th year, to be launching our first ever co-production with York Theatre Royal, African Snow.”

Riding Lights are currently in the process of booking venues across the country for the tour. As the Theatre Company’s work is informed by its Christian faith, it has sometimes meant that its work has been regarded with some suspicion in some quarters of the theatrical world.

This morning we prayed for Riding Lights, that they would obtain the best bookings in the best venues, for a successful national tour. We prayed too that this first co-production with York Theatre Royal will be successful, with good bookings. Will you join us in our prayer?

Please pray that:
• every seat at every one of the 21 York Theatre Royal performances is sold
• we will quickly find theatres to fill the gaps in the tour schedule
• African Snow will open people’s eyes to the real nature of contemporary slaveries
• audiences will be moved into world-changing action by the play
• Christians nationwide will cause theatres and their audiences to recognise the transforming power of God’s kingdom on earth.
African Snow marks the 200th anniversary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act, and lends its voice to the campaign for the abolition of modern slaveries worldwide.
It tells the story of the meeting of two men, cast from opposite sides into the hell of the slave trade – Olaudah Equiano, stolen from his home in West Africa, and John Newton, the converted slave-trader who later gave the world its most famous hymn, Amazing Grace.

Bringing them face to face, however, is perhaps beyond the scope of human reason. Can victim and abuser ever be reconciled? African Snow takes us to the heart of the human condition to the place where two men are compelled to confront each another.
We want this to be the single biggest theatrical event of the year. We want African Snow to have a major impact on people’s understanding of our place in the historical slave trade, and of how we find ourselves with more people enslaved worldwide today than there were at the time of the Abolition in 1807. With your help it can.
African Snow is a play about blindness. The Abolition Act was decades in the making, because people – including the Christian community – were blind to the true, dehumanising nature of slavery. Much of our society is still blind to slavery which is more prevalent now than at any point in our history. It will take a lot of effort – every one of us is implicated somehow in the causes and effects of modern slavery – but African Snow can make a real contribution to the opening of our eyes.
African Snow runs at York Theatre Royal from Fri 30 Mar – Sat 21 Apr. It then tours nationwide, to theatres including Hull New Theatre, Hackney Empire, Bristol’s Redgrave Theatre, Brighton Corn Exchange and more.
“Here’s a play that turns history into a pulsating human story. It could be yours. It could be mine. We begin to understand the past when we recognise that it is about real human beings like us. That way we better understand not only where we have come from but what we are doing now and where we are heading.” Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York

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