The Workers Unite Film Festival has added a live theatrical component over each of the past three seasons ("Every Fold Matters", etc). This year, we are fortunate enough to partner with the Castillo Theater to co-produce a presentation of "Call Mr. Robeson" on May 11th and May 12th, a special one-man play and musical retrospective based on the life of actor, singer, and progressive activist, Paul Robeson.
Retelling Mr. Robeson’s story is critical right now as labor unions and workers battle the devastating effects of an anti-worker President, as well as an imminent attack on public sector workers to legally unionize and collect agency fees.
“They say I’m meddling in the foreign affairs of the United States Government. Now, that’s too bad, ‘cause I’m going to have to continue to meddle...”
Paul Robeson is a world-famous actor, singer and civil rights campaigner. When over the years he gets progressively too radical and outspoken for the establishment's liking, he is branded a traitor to his country, harassed, and denied opportunities to perform or travel. Just as physical, emotional and mental stress threaten to push him over the fine line between genius and madness, he is summoned to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee, to give the most difficult and important performance of his career.
This roller-coaster journey through Robeson’s remarkable and eventful life highlights how his pioneering and heroic (but largely forgotten) political activism led many to describe him as the forerunner of the civil rights movement. It features much fiery oratory and some of his famous songs, including a dramatic rendition of Ol’ Man River.
Tayo Aluko revives one of the 20th Century’s most impressive but overlooked figures in this powerful, compelling tour-de-force performance, which was seen at New York’s Carnegie Hall in February 2012, and in London’s West End in October 2013. (See the Trailer)
“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
Winner, Best Musical Performance, Atlantic Fringe, Halifax, Nova Scotia, September 2013
Winner, Best Solo Show, Stratford-upon-Avon Fringe, June 2013
Triple Winner (Impresario Award, Best Actor, Best Original Work) London Fringe, Canada, June 2012
Double Winner: Argus Angel Award for Artistic Excellence & Best Male Performer
Brighton Festival Fringe, May 2008
Show length: 80 min (no intermission). Directed by Olusola Oyeleye. More info at www.callmrrobeson.com