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 »

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

Performances to date

13/14 November: Little Angel Theatre, London

16 & 20 October: Tara Theatre, London
6 June: Studio, York Theatre Royal

1 March: StAnza Poetry Festival, Byre Theatre, St Andrews, Scotland
15 May: Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Norwich Arts Centre
29 June: Macready Theatre, Festival on the Close, Rugby School
13 Nov: Corpus Playroom, Cambridge (hosted by The Marlowe Society)
18/19 Dec: Bloomsbury Theatre, London


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

Previews 2015

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