Developed with support from Ovalhouse, Loud Talkin’ present
concept by Karena Johnson, poems by Oneness Sankara
A new play inspired by Nina Simone’s song Four Women. The story of four generations of British women from one family who come together to save their 21st Century descendant.
This time-travelling quilt of a play introduces us to Sara, Peaches, Saffronia, Sweet Thing and Ebony twisting from the 1833 abolition act, to the 1962 immigration act, through 1981 riots hurtling to the financial crash of 2008.
4Women was a part of Ovalhouse’ 2016 FiRST BiTES series of new performance pieces, currently in development and presented as work-in-progress showings.
Nina Simone Four Women
OneNess Sankara - Poet
Work is her life’s passion. From the tender age of eight, she showed an incredible aptitude for the creative arts. Singer, songwriter, lyricist, actress, director and, more recently, musician, OneNess Sankara is a vanguard of the arts. OneNess Sankara is more than your average ordinary songstress that see’s her gift as being a healing remedy to the soul which cannot be boxed into any category. OneNess Sankara views her music as being funky, quirky, adventurous, humorous, thought provoking and will even bring a tear or two. OneNess Sankara creates a world of her own in which she allows her listeners to embark on this journey with her.
Born and raised in London OneNess has been performing since the age of eight. Her exceptional spoken word/singer songwriting abilities have created a buzz for herself across the UK and beyond (places included as Norway, Zimbabwe, Germany to name a few). The entire world really is her stage as her work has taken her from The Glastonbury Festival to The Royal Festival Hall as well as performances on the BBC, SKY and Choice FM. A further testament to her achievements are the number of accolades she has received including being one of the Top Five Black Female Poets by the New Nation newspaper and the first artist outside of North America to win an award at The Toronto International Poetry Slam. A seasoned performer, she has taken her spoken word to the stage as a solo artist as well as performing as part of the respected poetry quartet, Best Kept Secret. The group’s only female member, OneNess compliments her male counterparts with her dynamic performances, the finished product, and a beautifully unified voice from one of London’s most prized spoken word groups.
Andrew Williams – Sound Designer
Andrew won a bursary 25 years ago to train as a stage manager for one year with Black Theatre Cooperative and sound engineering at Red Tape Studios in Sheffield
He has worked with several companies including GYPT, Theatre Centre, The Posse, Black Theatre Co-op, Straight to Audience, Kushite Theatre Company, Hackney Empire and GeeStor Productions. He has worked in all aspects of Theatre from Stage /Production Manager, Set designer, set builder Lighten and of course sound and that is where his passion lies. He has his own home recording studio where he not only creates sound scapes and music for theatre productions but also jingles and remixes for DJ’s up and down the country. He is currently Technical & Venues Manager at University of Bristol Students Union.
Andrew DJ’s and runs his own internet radio station, Soulful Sundayz 21.00-00.00 on Bouce88 http://bounce88online.listen2myradio.com
Shirley J Thompson – Composer
The music of composer Shirley J. Thompson is performed and screened worldwide and often described as “beautiful and powerful” (Le Figaro). A visionary artist and cultural activist, Thompson is the first woman in Europe to have composed and conducted a symphony within the last 40 years. New Nation Rising, A 21st Century Symphony performed and recorded by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is an epic musical story celebrating London’s thousand-year history, and one in which the RPO is accompanied by two choirs, solo singers, a rapper and dhol drummers, a total of nearly 200 performers.
This extraordinary work was originally commissioned for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002 and the concept was latterly assumed as a framework for the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony. She has also composed extensively for TV/film, theatre, dance and opera production.
Allyson Ava Brown