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BLACK* artists on the Move’s History Is Now! Festival – Taunton Brewhouse welcomes Lemn Sissay for an evening of poetry, art and music on 2 October.

The acclaimed writer, poet and charismatic performer Lemn Sissay is coming to Taunton Brewhouse this October. Lemn is a BAFTA nominated prize-winning writer, and has an MBE for services to literature. He will be joined by guests: the Tan Teddy Jamaican Folk Group, installation artist Lawrence Chikwa, who will take part in a Q&A, and acclaimed jazz pianist Guy-Marc Vadeleux for a virtual performance.

In honour of Black History Month, BLACK* artists on the Move’s History is Now! Festival, is an exploration of how history and the present moment converge. Across three performances over several days (2 & 5 October) an international programme of BLACK* artists will present a feast of dance, theatre, song and spoken word to examine and celebrate the complex histories of BLACK* communities around the world.

On 5 October Mauritius-based mime artist Jamel Colin will take to the stage (via Zoom) for a thrilling performance and Q&A, followed by a live presentation by spoken word artist Helen Thomas. Dancers Jessica Ncube and Angela Davis also bring the heat with their compelling dance performance, and the Sheba Soul Ensemble Theatre present their latest production ‘Are you sure that we are awake?’ live and via Zoom from Lusaka and Kampala

There are events for children too and it is a wonderful way for them to learn about this particular time in history. On 2 October there are two shows: The Secret Keeper (20 mins + Q&A), a magical and captivating non-verbal show in which a series of beautifully worked pieces of driftwood are brought to life as mythical creatures. This visual spectacle is combined with a soundscape to embody the power of storytelling in its most inspiring form. Following the show, performer, dancer, and puppeteer Araceli Cabrera will take part in a Q&A.

 Anansi & the Sweet Forgotten (40 mins + Q&A) uses traditional West African stories and puppets made from everyday materials, accompanied by stunning original music and spoken word poetry, as a springboard to learn about the journey of the Anansi stories from Africa to the UK via the Caribbean. This journey follows enslaved African people to the Caribbean and then the migration of their descendants to the UK with the Windrush generation.

This extraordinary festival is coming to Taunton thanks to funding from the Weston Culture Fund part of the Garfield Weston Foundation.

For further details and to book call: Taunton Brewhouse’s box office Tel: 01823 283244 or go to  www.thebrewhouse.net  @BrewhouseLive