An uplifting new musical inspired by the Bristol Bus Boycott.
It’s 1963 and the Swinging Sixties have arrived: The Beatles release their debut album, the mini skirt is born and the Civil Rights movement is gaining ground in America. Back in the UK, the country is emerging from the Big Freeze. As temperatures thaw, tensions are running high in Bristol where the Omnibus Company refuses to employ Black or Asian drivers or conductors.
Paul Stephenson, an idealistic youth worker, takes to the streets to stand up for equality. Lorraine, a teenager, newly-arrived from Jamaica, joins the fight and, in so doing, finds her voice and becomes part of a movement that changes history.
With an explosive, feel-good score bursting with ska, calypso and rock ‘n’ roll… this is a story of standing up for what you believe in, allyship, and – ultimately – finding joy.
To The Streets! had its first outing as an outdoor concert musical, performed in parks across the West Midlands in August 2022, as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival – a six-month cultural programme, running alongside the Commonwealth Games.
This element of the project was a China Plate and Birmingham Hippodrome co-production, presented by Birmingham 2022 Festival. Produced in association with Warwick Arts Centre, City of Wolverhampton Council and DRPG Creative.
Scroll down to watch a video below to hear what audiences thought from its first outing as an outdoor concert musical!
LONGING TO BELONG
China Plate were also commissioned by BBC Arts to produce a new short musical film inspired by To The Streets! Longing to Belong is one of several films commissioned to reflect the Birmingham 2022 Festival’s celebration of creativity and culture around the Commonwealth Games.
Longing to Belong is the “I Want” song from the show, sung by our protagonist Lorraine…
It’s 1963 and Lorraine, a Jamaican teenager, has just arrived in Bristol. She soon realises that her new home is not the warm, welcoming place she hoped it would be. In the face of racist hostility, she sings passionately about her desire to belong.
The film is available to watch on BBC iPlayer here.
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