Rockets and Blue Lights
Amid the gloom of Victorian England, a black sailor, Thomas, prepares to take one last voyage, while an ageing painter, J.M.W. Turner, seeks artistic inspiration in a half-remembered story. In twenty-first-century London, an actress finds herself handcuffed by history - two centuries after abolitionists won her ancestors their freedom.
Winsome Pinnock's astonishing play retells British history through the prism of the slave trade. Fusing fact with fiction, past with present, the powerfully personal with the fiercely political, Rockets and Blue Lights asks who owns our past - and who has the right to tell its stories?
Winner of the 2018 Alfred Fagon Award, the play opened at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, in March 2020, directed by Miranda Cromwell.
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About the Author
Winsome Pinnock is an award-winning British playwright of Jamaican heritage. Her plays include: Rockets and Blue Lights (Royal Exchange, Manchester, 2020); One Under (2005) and Water (2000) at the Tricycle Theatre; Mules (Clean Break/Royal Court Theatre Upstairs/Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles and The Magic Theatre, San Francisco, 1996); Talking in Tongues (1991) and A Hero's Welcome (1989; runner-up Susan Smith Blackburn Prize) at the Royal Court Theatre; and Leave Taking (Liverpool Playhouse Theatre/Contact Theatre Manchester/Belgrade Theatre Coventry/Lyric Hammersmith/ National Theatre, 1986).
Awards include the George Devine Award, the Pearson Award and the Unity Theatre Trust Award.