intercultural theatre and performing arts company

Roll Over Atlantic

Written and performed by John Agard
Directed by Mark C. Hewitt

Music written and arranged by Thomas Arnold
and performed by Thomas Arnold and Richard Durrant
with vocals by Pam Hewitt

Roll Over Atlantic is a satirical revisiting of the voyages of Christopher Columbus. Whether glorified or vilified, Columbus, by his accidental ‘discovery’ of the so-called New World, gave a kickstart to globalisation, bridging Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas, and joining forever the fates of these separate hemispheres and eco-systems.

Telescoping the voyages, Agard brings his irreverential wit from page to stage, fusing elements of calypso, cabaret and the absurd, as he variously takes on the voices of Columbus, The Atlantic, a native shaman and The Mighty Mosquito. Written in verse and performed against a background soundscape of Atlantic murmurings and symphonic mosquito buzzing, Agard takes his audience on a fantastical, fanatical historic voyage that still bears relevance to contemporary issues.

Read the review from London Literature Festival at the Southbank »
Read the online interview for Prospect Magazine »
Read the interview on the Write Out Loud website »
Hear John with Libby Purves on BBC Radio 4's Midweek »

• John as Columbus (photo © François Norris, 2015)

Performances to date

Mon 20 & Weds 22 Feb: Birley Centre, Eastbourne College
Weds 1 March: StAnza Poetry Festival, Byre Theatre, St Andrews, Scotland
Mon 15 May: Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Norwich Arts Centre
Thuis 29 June: Macready Theatre, Festival on the Close, Rugby School


Fri 27 May: Brighton Fringe Festival
Tues/Weds: 4/5 October: Marlborough Theatre, Brighton
Fri 7 Oct: Cheltenham Literature Festival
Sun 9 Oct: All Saints Centre, Lewes
Fri-Sun 14/15/16 Oct: Southbank Centre, London Literature Festival
Weds 9 Nov: Nottingham Festival of Literature
Sun 27 Nov: Shrewsbury Literature Festival

Preview tour 2015

Weds 7 Oct: Shoreham WordFest
Sat 10 Oct: Chiddingly Village Hall, East Sussex
Sat 17 Oct: Ilkley Literature Festival
Thurs 22 Oct: Tongues&Grooves at The Square Tower, Old Portsmouth
Weds 28 Oct: Cecil Sharp House, Camden, London
Thurs 26 Nov: The Birley Centre, Eastbourne
Fri 27 Nov: Hastings Museum & Art Gallery,
Sat 28 Nov: All Saints Centre, Lewes
Thurs 17 Dec:
Tristan Bates Theatre, Covent Garden, London

• Above, John as The Mighty Mosquito (photo by François Norris)
• Below, production shots (photos by François Norris)