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Freedom City 2017

October 28, 2017 2:16 PM
Tyne Bridge festival50 years ago civil rights campaigner Dr Martin Luther King Jr came to Newcastle upon Tyne to be honoured with a doctorate from Newcastle University. Tomorrow Sunday 29th October there will be aprogramme of events in Newcastle inspired by Dr King and epic civil rights struggles from across the globe, both past and present.
Out of the buildings and through the streets of Newcastle will come a unique afternoon of theatre, music, dance, circus and art to celebrate the courage and sacrifice of those who have led the long march for civil rights. Starting from different locations across the city, the stories from Selma, Alabama 1965, Amritsar, India 1919, Sharpeville, South Africa 1960, Peterloo, Manchester 1819, and the Jarrow March, Tyneside 1936 will be woven together in a unique immersive performance featuring a local cast of hundreds that will develop throughout the day.
The first ever performance event on the Tyne bridge will celebrate the inspiring visit in 1967 by paying homage to those who gave their lives and by recognising how our stories resulted in positive, meaningful change. There will be a finale of performance, sound and light that will send Dr King's unshakeable message of peace, justice, equality and cooperation into the night sky and across the Tyne.
See also Dr Martin Luther King www.freedomcity2017.com/freedom-city-2017/freedom-city-tyne
THE TURNING OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, SELMA, USA, 1965
Following the violence of the first Selma to Montgomery march across the Edmund Pettus bridge and the second attempt at which Martin Luther King stunned his followers by turning back, a group of young activists join a meeting of Civil Rights leaders as they debate what to do next. Attend the meeting and face the difficult choices surrounding the best route to the right to vote; march with King on the third attempt, calm, strong, peaceful and defiant, toward the bridge and feel the tension and uncertainty…will the troopers attack again or will you cross the bridge with King?
Indoor Performance: The Boiler House, Newcastle University, 3.25pm
Outdoor Performance: Grey's Monument, 4.35pm
* Performance of My Knowledge Increase, My Memories Reflect, 3pm
THE HAUNTING OF GENERAL DYER, AMRITSAR, INDIA, 1919
In the aftermath of the Amritsar massacre, in which troops under British command killed and wounded hundreds of unarmed people, General Dyer faces trial for his actions. Join the inquiry and listen to the testimony of Dyer and the victims while you weigh up the cross examination and opinions of the likes of the young Gandhi and Churchill. Join the restless spirits of the dead as they haunt General Dyer in a wild fury of music, mask, costume and dance. Finally witness the event itself - what will it take for Dyer and the British Empire to accept responsibility?
Indoor Performance: The Assembly Rooms, Fenkle Street, Newcastle, 3.30pm
Outdoor Performance: Bigg Market, Newcastle, 4.30pm
A WHITE MAN'S BURDEN, SHARPVILLE, SOUTH AFRICA, 1960
At a police station in Sharpeville, a group of officers are preparing to face another demonstration against the infamous pass laws - requiring all black men and women to carry personal details. Hear the perspective of the heavily outnumbered white officers as the sound and song of the protesters moves closer. From the other side of a flimsy metal fence, see the protesters approach and hear their stories and demands. Follow the story as the police lose their nerve, a shot is fired and panic, tragedy and injustice follows.
Starting Performance: Riverside, Newcastle Quayside, 3.20pm
Outdoor Performance: Live Theatre, Broad Chare, Newcastle, 4.20pm
THE BALLAD OF PETERLOO, ST PETER'S FIELD, MANCHESTER, 1819
Faced with years of famine and chronic unemployment, protesters dressed in their Sunday best, gather at a demonstration to listen to the words of the radical orator Henry Hunt. Hear their ballad of suffering and poverty; join the gathering and follow the carnival of song, dance and music; witness how the cavalry - flushed from success at Waterloo - are ordered to arrest Hunt. Gasp in disbelief as they charge through the crowd.
Indoor Performance: St Mary's Heritage Centre, Oakwellgate, Gateshead, 3.25pm
Outdoor Performance: Baltic Square, Gateshead Quays, 4.35pm
THE JARROW MARCH, NORTH EAST ENGLAND, 1936
Protesting against the unemployment and poverty suffered in Tyneside in the 1930s, 200 men marched to London to petition for the re-establishment of industry in their home town. Join the Jarrow marchers, led by the great Ellen Wilkinson, in this celebration of the UK's proud traditions of civil protest and social justice. Alongside miners, anti-war, anti-racism, poverty action, women's rights, and LGBT groups, each with their own banners, chants, music and energy, march together for our continued fight to positive change.
Performance: Newcastle Theatre Royal, 4.50pm
THE TYNE BRIDGE
Join our stories and processions as they gather on the Tyne Bridge - the iconic symbol of the North East that links Newcastle and Gateshead.
In the first ever performance event on the bridge we will celebrate the inspiring visit of Dr Martin Luther King Jr to Tyneside fifty years ago by paying homage to those who gave their lives and by recognising how our stories resulted in positive, meaningful change. Be with us on the bridge when we unite for an unforgettable epic finale of performance, sound and light that will send Dr King's unshakeable message of peace, justice, equality and cooperation into the night sky and across the Tyne.
Freedom on the Tyne will be most enjoyed by following one story from start to finish, but it can also be experienced at any stage and for any duration - we welcome audiences to join us at any moment along the way…
Performance, 5.15pm approx