Award-winning poet and writer, Inua Ellams will host an online evening of spoken word and music, taking his unique R.A.P (Rhythm and Poetry) Party online for the first time with proceeds going to support our Crowdfunder and safeguard our future.
The pay-what-you-decide, online event on Thursday 19 November will be the 50th R.A.P Party and marks precisely ten years since the night’s inception. It will feature the original full line including Breis, Charlie Dark, Zena Edwards, Joshua Idehen, Jacob Sam-La Rose, Kae Tempest, Musa Okwonga, Nii Parkes, Gemma Weekes, Polarbear, Theresa Lola and Inua Ellams.
Neither rave nor literary event, the R.A.P Party brings together poets and a DJ in a celebration of rap, hip-hop and poetry. After being supported by the Albany to develop the event ten years ago, the first party sold out and received rave reviews. Ten years and 49 events later, The R.A.P Party has played to audiences nationally and internationally in Brazil, Nigeria, Australia, Germany and Belgium and across the UK.
As one of our former Associate Artists with a longstanding relationship with us since first performing here as teenager, Inua has had several pieces staged and supported including Knight Watch and The 14th Tale in addition to working with our award-winning youth programme. He has since gone on to enjoy international success with his fourth full length play, Barber Shop Chronicles and his most recent production, an adaptation of Chekhov’s Three Sisters, played to critical acclaim at the National Theatre.
The event also highlights the number of widely celebrated artists who have been supported by the Albany under the leadership of Chief Executive and Artistic Director Gavin Barlow, and who have experienced critical success in the years since including Kae Tempest and former Associate Artists Zena Edwards, and Polarbear.
Chief Executive/Artistic Director of the Albany, Gavin Barlow said:
‘It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years since the first R.A.P Party at the Albany and we jumped at the opportunity to host an online version when Inua proposed it to us. It’s a hugely generous act at a time of great uncertainty and the proceeds will directly help us to continue our work within our community. It’s also a welcome opportunity to look back and celebrate the success of the artists on the original bill as well as enjoy a good night in!’
Inua Ellams said:
‘The pandemic has affected so many aspects of our lives, but it has also necessitated moments of true reflection and reconnection, and this event is one. To be able to gather this incredible, original line up, to celebrate verse and poetry with audiences across the world, and support the Albany… there are several planets aligning here, and I’m excited to host this party.’
image credit: Caleb Femi