Kuumba Nia Arts is an Black led Oxford-based touring theatre company that produces and develops work based on traditional African theatrical forms and aesthetics. In Swahili, Kuumba means ‘creativity’ whilst Nia can be translated as ‘intention’ or ‘purpose’. Our mission and purpose is to fuse contemporary creative performance styles with historical African forms that have been passed to the diaspora to create a theatre that breaks new ground. Creating unique productions of startling authenticity that inform, surprise and entertain. We also run workshops, film screenings and events.
Our new site is still under-construction so keep coming back for our recent up dates.
When one woman tells of her extraordinary journey to overcome the brutality of slavery, she becomes a beacon for the British anti-slavery movement. Born into slavery in the British colony of Bermuda, Mary Prince went on to become an auto-biographer and champion of freedom. Her book had an electrifying effect on the abolitionist movement helping to free many Africans in bondage. Through theatre, song, music, drumming and dance, this masterpiece of Black British theatre is inspired by the storytelling traditions of the West African griot.
Thursday 6 June to Saturday 8 June at 7.30pm
The North Wall Arts Centre
South Parade, Oxford OX2 7JN
Tickets: £10 full price, £8 concessions
Kuumba Nia Arts and Unlock the Chains Collective bring Mary's story to the North Wall Arts Centre as part of the PROPELLER programme, a new initiative from The North Wall and Oxfordshire Theatre Makers.
Performances are followed by 30 minute Q&A's - then join us for music and a drink after the show.
'This was not the first time I have witnessed the North Wall’s stage hosting a fully-fledged production evoking a whole cast of characters with just two actors, but it may just have been the best' Daily info review 7 June
We are at the Attic, Pleasance Court Yard for a full Edinburgh fringe run in association with the Oxford Playhouse Wednesday 31 July - Sunday 25 August 12.45pm daily. (No performances Mondays 12 & 19 August)
We need to raise £10000 to get us there so far we have £2500 can you help us raise the rest ?
“Mary's story is one of the unassuming heroine. Her strength and resilience to stay alive through the horrors of British chattel slavery, to fall in love, work for her freedom and share her story to help bring slavery to an end, was a huge achievement for an enslaved West Indian woman in 1831..”
Check out this great clip from Old Fire Station performances in March.
Videos by Derek James
Photographs by David Fisher
We have partnered with Unlock the Chains Collective to create theatrical interventions for these two exciting on going projects. From early days of the West Indies enslavement and sugar trade through to the journeys of the Windrush generations into today. The lives and stories of those in the West Indies/Caribbean and Britain intertwine.
Windrush The Next Generation
We are sharing and exploring some of Oxford's local voices and stories of the Windrush generation, through theatrical exchanges. Using dramatic monologues, poetry, song, dance, storytelling and creative workshops. Working with community elders, young people and community groups, sharing in the Museum spaces. Keeping the voices of Windrush generations past and present alive and heard.
We are working with a range of Oxford based groups including ACKHI, Oxford Museums Pitt Rivers, Ashmolean, Museum of Oxford, Fusion, Oxford University, Brooks University, BKLUWO, schools and other community groups
Up Coming Performances
Windrush Day Ashmolean take over day 22 June 12- 4
Cowley Road Carnival 7 July
Nice Cup of Tea
Is a project looking at the hidden stories behind Empire and Colonialism through Ceramics and British tradition of A Nice Cup Of Tea . We bring the past to life by fusing performance poetry, drama, storytelling and song, exploring the realities of the Sugar trade and it's impacts.
Working with Museum of Oxford, Pitt Rivers, Ashmolean and BKLUWO and ACKHI
Up Coming events
Nice Cup of Tea Exhibition Launch
Ashmolean Museum May 22 6-8