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From Carnegie Hall to Buxton: Plays About Paul Robeson and Anti-Colonial, Anti-Racist Struggles Return to Buxton Fringe, July 11, 12, 18 & 19

Buxton Fringe Welcomes Back Plays About Paul Robeson and Anti-Colonial, Anti-Racist Struggles, July 11, 12, 18 & 19

Rotunda Theatre is to play host to two one-man plays written and performed by British Nigerian actor and singer Tayo Aluko as part of the 40th Buxton Fringe, two years after Aluko's last performances there

Call Mr. Robeson 11 & 18 July

A roller-coaster journey through African-American actor and singer Paul Robeson’s remarkable life, highlighting his pioneering and heroic political activism. Features Ol’ Man River and other famous songs, much fiery oratory, and a defiant testimony to the House Un-American Activities Committee.


  • “First-rate ... an admirable introduction to a great pioneering performer" (4 Stars) The Guardian
  • "A stunning piece of musical theatre.... high quality drama, first class singing" Fringe Review, Edinburgh Fringe, 2010
  • "A brilliantly put together history lesson delivered as art." Dirt & Candy
  • "Never less than utterly believable" British Theatre Guide
  • "Simply told but immensely powerful" The Scotsman
  • “A must-see experience, a treasure of a show. TOP PICK!” DC Theater Scene

Just An Ordinary Lawyer 12 & 19 July

He is Britain’s first Black judge, a fine singer and keen cricket lover. Finding himself stranded in the Heart of Empire, Nigerian Tunji Sowande muses on Black liberation struggles worldwide. He insists he is no political aficionado, but is content to contribute through his music and songs.


  • “A fascinating show ... packs in so much” (4 stars) The Guardian
  • “Another triumph … that thrills and touches” (5 Stars) British Theatre Guide
  • “Immensely enjoyable.” (4 Stars) One4Review
  • “A superb play” (9/10) Liverpool Sound and Vision
  • “Every socialist, anti-racist and ¬anti-imperialist will love this” Socialist Worker
  • “Prepare to be bowled over” Wirral Globe
  • “A brilliant … piece of theatre.” Monday Magazine, Victoria, BC, Canada

Aluko, who once performed Call Mr. Robeson in New York’s Carnegie Hall, and last visited Dublin with the play in late 2014 said, “Buxton is a place I have been visiting as a performer for several years - my time in competitive music festivals - and it is always a pleasure to return to such a beautiful place with these inspiring stories. I'm looking forward to being back there very much.”

Mr. Aluko will be accompanied on piano for both plays by Tim Mottershead.

Listings Information

What (1)

Call Mr. Robeson. A Life, With Songs. 
Written and performed by Tayo Aluko, with Tim Mottershead, Piano. 
Directed by Olusola Oyeleye, Designed by Phil Newman

When (1)

Thursdays 11 and 18 July 2019, 7.20pm 
Length: 85 mins, no interval 
Tickets: £12 Age Recommendation: 12+

What (2)

Just An Ordinary Lawyer. A Play, With Songs. 
Written and performed by Tayo Aluko, with Tim Mottershead, Piano. Directed by Amanda Huxtable, Designed by Emma Williams

When (2)

Fridays July 12 & 19 2019, 7.20pm (Saturday matinee, 3pm) 
Tickets: £12 Age Recommendation: 14+


Rotunda Theatre 
Pavilion Gardens, 
SK17 6BE

Featured artists

Angela Thompson

Angela Thompson

Paula Sharples

Paula Sharples

Richard Bett

Richard Bett


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