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Stage Editorial

martinlutherking17.jpg King of Newcastle

Dr Martin Luther King made his last speech outside of the US in Newcastle, 50 years ago this year, and Freedom City 2017 aims to celebrate this historic visit with a programme of events right across Tyneside.

“There are three urgent and indeed great problems that we face not only in the United State of America but all over the world today. That is the problem of racism, the problem of poverty and the problem of war.” That was Dr Martin Luther King speaking at Newcastle University back in 1967 in a remarkable speech in which he actually took the time to visit the university to receive an honorary degree. There are a number of events taking place that will mark that visit, not least Freedom on the Tyne, which is taking place on Sunday 29 October.

This will feature a unique afternoon of theatre, music, dance, circus and art that will celebrate the courage and sacrifice of those who have led the long march for civil rights. Starting from different locations across the city, the stories from Selma, Alabama 1963, Amritsar, India 1919, Sharpeville, South Africa 1961, Peterloo, Manchester 1819, and the Jarrow March, Tyneside 1936, will be woven together in a unique immersive performance featuring a local cast of hundreds that will develop throughout the day. As night falls, an uplifting climax will bring the city to a standstill for a memorable moment of light, sound and theatre.

This is just one of many events that make up the Freedom City 2017 programme so visit their website to get the full lowdown.

Freedom on Tyne, Sunday 29 October. More info on this, and the wider Freedom City 2017 programme: freedomcity2017.com