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What Happens, A Tribute to Langston Hughes

The Maltings & Tayo Aluko & Friends

From £8

The Maltings Theatre and Tayo Aluko & Friends present

What Happens?

Musings and meditations on Life.
A tribute to Langston Hughes
By Tayo Aluko
With live Jazz band accompaniment

The Maltings Theatre comes together with award-winning writer, performer & producer Tayo Aluko (noted for the audience favourite Call Mr. Robeson) to bring you this very special evening of dramatic poetry readings and live jazz music celebrating the life and work of Langston Hughes, one of the earliest innovators of ‘Jazz Poetry’. Referred to as ‘The Negro Poet Laureate’, Hughes was also a novelist, humourist, short story writer, essayist, librettist, journalist and dramatist whose work over a prolific career spanning five decades was and remains a source of uncompromisingly incisive social commentary and protest.

Combining many of Langston Hughes’ most famous poems with much rarer works, Tayo Aluko brings to life the words of the man who embodied as well as any other person the ‘Harlem Renaissance’ of 1920s America. In the company of a band of talented Jazz musicians, he evokes the atmosphere and electricity of a Jazz Poetry night of almost 100 years ago.

Performances of jazz classics are interspersed with dramatic readings of Hughes’s poems and visual projections with which Tayo continues Hughes’s tradition of using words to hold a mirror up to society. Inspired by the opening line of one of Hughes’s most celebrated poems Harlem (What happens to a dream deferred?), Tayo ask such searching questions as:

• What happens to make us forget the lessons of history, when it comes to war?
• What happens that prevents real change in Africa?
• What happens to make true, meaningful art so underappreciated?
• What happens when you get a Black man in the White House?

Tickets:   Premier   £11.00   Standard   £10.00   Conc   £9.00   Child/Student   £8.00   Friends  £  
"Aluko does a fine job ... First-rate" ... an admirable introduction to a great pioneering performer" 4 Stars - The Guardian

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