New play about slavery in 1800s Barbados staged at Bridport Arts Centre

PUBLISHED: 16:54 27 April 2015 | UPDATED: 16:54 27 April 2015




Muscovado is BurntOut Theatre’s scorching new play about slavery in Nineteenth Century Barbados, written by emerging playwright Royal Court alumnus Matilda Ibini.

A heady mix of sexual intrigue, piercing choral music and extreme racial tension, Muscovado provides an unflinching portrayal of life on a sugar plantation in 1808, accompanied by original music and atmospheric soundscape performed live by the cast.

Muscovado will be performed on May 9 at Bridport Arts Centre as part of a tour visiting 15 cities around the UK with links to the transatlantic slave trade, including: Hull, Bristol, Southampton and Brighton.


Muscovado was commissioned by BurntOut Theatre following the discovery of archives relating to Artistic Director Clemmie Reynolds’ family, who lived in Barbados in 1800s. Emerging Nigerian playwright Matilda Ibini recently became the youngest winner of the BBC Writersroom10 Award, is supported by a Prince William scholarship including mentoring by BAFTA, and is Soho Theatre’s Writer-in-Residence.

Muscovado was first staged in 2014 at the Victoria & Albert Museum, and as part of Black History Month in the Clapham church where William Wilberforce campaigned for the abolition of the slave trade, gaining 4-star reviews and sell-out performances. The play was developed with historical support from slave trade expert Steve Martin, script development with Young Vic Theatre, and financial support from Arts Council England.

Full list of regional venues available at

Latest from the Dorset