North Leitrim theatre brings show to Africa

North Leitrim theatre company Benbo Productions are bringing their play ‘The Cambria’ about US anti-slavery leader Frederick Douglass to Zimbabwe and Zambia next month.

North Leitrim theatre company Benbo Productions are bringing their play ‘The Cambria’ about US anti-slavery leader Frederick Douglass to Zimbabwe and Zambia next month.

Benbo Productions, with the support of Culture Ireland and the Irish Embassy in Zambia, will bring Donal O’Kelly’s ‘The Cambria’ to the Standard Theatre Harare at the invitation of the Harare International Festival of the Arts, Zimbabwe on May 3 & 6 and Lusaka American International School Theatre in Zambia on May 9.

The Cambria was a trans-Atlantic paddle-steamer. On August 10, 1845, among the passengers on board was an escaped slave called Frederick Douglass. Slave-owners placed a price on his head and he was forced to flee the US. He came to Ireland. The Cambria tells the story of how he survived to become what Abraham Lincoln called “the most impressive man I ever met”, and to become the rhetorical inspiration for Barack Obama in his campaign to become President of the United States.

Frederick Douglass become known as ‘The Black O’Connell’, after his friend and lifelong anti-slavery campaigner Daniel O’Connell MP, with whom he spoke on several platforms.

The Cambria is directed by Raymond Keane and performed by Sorcha Fox and Donal O’Kelly.