In the creation of ‘Coleridge Unbound’, State of Trust has delved deep into the history of Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s life in the West Country, in particular his role as an abolitionist. As a lay preacher, Coleridge often spoke out against the transatlantic slave trade from the pulpit of the Unitarian Chapel in Taunton. ‘Coleridge Unbound’ celebrates Coleridge and the landscape of the Quantock Hills and raises the ghosts of the past through original dance, film, and music performance.
Using Coleridge’s abolitionist text as a stimulus, State of Trust is delivering a new dance interpretation that responds to William Beckford’s story, exploring themes of slavery and present-day issues. The performance will also draw on themes of the Somerset landscape, important to both Coleridge and Beckford, who as contemporaries and Somerset residents, represented very different perspectives on England’s relationship with transatlantic slave trade.
Performed in the Tower, this event will enable audiences to enjoy inclusive storytelling from multiple perspectives, which enables everybody to feel represented and welcome.
Venue, Date and Time
This event will be held at Beckford’s Tower on Friday 10th February. The main performance will run from 18:00 – 19:00, then from 19:00 – 19:30 the performers will take questions from the audience.
How to book
Tickets can be booked via Eventbrite here. Please note that limited places are available due to the size of the venue.
About the Performers
The performers are Deborah Baddoo, Bawren Tavaziva, Michael Joseph, and Kay Crook with music by Steve Marshall. This project develops work done during lockdown in 2021, which resulted in the creation of 7 short films. In 2022, with the support of Arts Council England, the company created new choreography and a site-specific film for dance. The film references Alfoxton House near Bridgwater, where Coleridge was a frequent visitor to his friends William and Dorothy Wordsworth in 1798, and Beckford’s Tower, Bath. The Beckford family owned plantations in Jamaica which were involved in the slave rebellion of 1760 known as Tacky’s Revolt.
With thanks to Arts Council England, Beckford’s Tower, Bath Preservation Trust, South West Museum Development, Richard Budd Photography, Somerset Film, Alfoxton House, Unitarian Chapel Taunton, The Friends of Coleridge, Quantock Landscape Partnership Scheme, Somerset West and Taunton, and The Museum of Somerset.