A journey to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Selina Thompson’s solo show is about grief, ancestry, home, forgetting and colonialism. It’s about being part of a diaspora.
“… Where our real home might be is tricky to say. In a way that is the point. Some people say that is the body, but I think the body is more a channel that leads us home. Ultimate reality is our home. It is here and now, and it is not a special piece of what is happening. We imagine that we are on a journey, that life is a journey, but we are home from the beginning. This is not an easy thing to accept.”
In February, two artists got on a cargo ship, and retraced one of the routes of the Transatlantic Slave Triangle – from the UK to Ghana to Jamaica, and back. Their memories, their questions and their grief took them along the bottom of the Atlantic and through the figurative realm of an imaginary past.
It was a long journey backwards, in order to go forwards. This show is what they brought back.
The Filipa Bragança Award winner, Edinburgh Festival 2017
The Stage Edinburgh Award, Edinburgh Festival 2017
★★★★ “Thompson can be plain-talking and very funny, then poetic and spiritual. Salt is a rare thing, a show with conceptual heft and a big heart.” – Financial Times (behind paywall)
★★★★ “What elevates her account is the way [Selina] Thompson leavens her unapologetically serious approach (which includes several uncomfortable scenes) with moments of playfulness or lyricism… The simple beauty of the staging and atmospheric lighting enhance the elegant understatement of the acting… A discomfiting piece, but refreshing in its mix of honesty and dignity.” – The Times (behind paywall)
★★★★ “Delivered with the lightest of touches… Suffused with anger at the fact that it even has to be asserted that black lives matter… Also uses humour to fine effect. A piece that offers the gift of seeing the world through different eyes.” – The Guardian
★★★★ “A moving, personal journey… Eloquent about the elusiveness of home when you’re a descendent of immigrants.” – The Stage
★★★★ “An intelligent, probing performance. She’s calm, although we sure as hell still feel her fury… A subtle and nuanced production.” – What’s On Stage
★★★★ “[A] beautiful and sometimes overwhelming monologue… A mighty 70-minute poetic meditation… Brave, honest, unforgiving.” – The Scotsman
★★★★ “Superb… An evocative, powerful piece which should be seen by as wide an audience as possible.” – The List
“A bold, unapologetic piece of political theatre. One that deserves the attention it demands.” – The Reviews Hub
“Thompson is a fantastic writer and thinker…moving and subtle… [hits] you like a punch in the face.” – Exeunt
Commissioned by Theatre Bristol, Yorkshire Festival and MAYK. Supported by Arts Council England and 200 kind and generous individuals who donated towards Selina’s voyage across the Atlantic.
Want to know more about Selina Thompson?
Selina Thompson is an artist and performer based in Leeds. Her work is playful, participatory and intimate, focused on the politics of identity, and how this defines our bodies, lives and environments. She has made work for pubs, cafes, hairdressers, toilets, and sometimes even galleries and theatres, including Spill Festival of Performance, The National Theatre Studio, The Birmingham REP, East Street Arts and the West Yorkshire Playhouse.