Bristol Theatre News

Frederick Douglass: An Abolitionist Returns to Bristol Arts Event May

A day-long event celebrating the life of Frederick Douglass, will be taking place across Bristol this May.

Frederick Douglass: An Abolitionist Returns to Bristol has been devised by Edson Burton with Tom Morris and will take place on Monday 28 May 2018.

During the course of the day, The Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Kwame Kwei-Armah, Danny Sapani, Vanessa Kisuule and Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees will perform adapted extracts from Douglass’ speeches. They will cover key topics such as religious hypocrisy, abolition, suffrage and Douglass’ own struggle for acceptance.

African-American Abolitionist Frederick Douglass, came to Bristol in 1846 as part of his antislavery movement campaign trail which aimed to raise funds and support for the antislavery moment across Europe.

He was born into slavery in 1818, eleven years after the slave trade was outlawed in the UK, but nearly 50 years before it was abolished in the US.

It is the bicentenary of his birth this year and the event will celebrate his life and work. The free day’s event will start at the statue of Alfred Fagon in St Pauls before walking across Bristol to stop at sites significant to Bristol’s own dark slave trade history.

People can either drop into each event, or walk along the entire route.

Locations include Grosvenor Road Triangle, The Seven Stars Public House, Queen Square, Telephone Avenue, Bristol Cathedral and City Hall.

High profile performers including the Artistic Director of London’s Young Vic Kwame Kwei Armah, Danny Sapani and Bristol Old Vic Artistic Director Tom Morris, will co-lead the tour with Dr Edson Burton.

The project is part of a series of events which focuses on Bristol specific issues, including the need to address the city’s reputation as being the most segregated major city in the country.


Other events taking place include the first performance of The Meaning of Zong, a series of talks by the Festival of Ideas and The Diaspora Festival.

For more information about the event and to book your free place, visit:

Event Route:

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