Previously inhabited by the Taino and Arawak people before its colonisation by the Spanish in the late 15th to early 17th century and then by the French from the early 17th century to the late 18th century, the nation of Haiti would officially receive its independence in 1804 – the nation part of the Transatlantic Slave Trade which witnessed many from West African countries shipped away from their native lands and endure generations of pain and torture. Exploring the little known historical figures that have shaped the Caribbean island’s revolutionary history, writer Emily Aboud and Lagahoo Productions present Bogeyman.
Four holiday makers turned Haitian islanders and storytellers – Deshaye Gayle, Jacoba Williams, Hosanna Johnson and Nicholas Marrast-Lewis take us on a journey not just over the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea – scenes meandering from a Central Line tube journey to the Caribbean island of Haiti, but back in time too, to 1791 and a time of revolt, which would see slaves rebel against their oppressors, led by revolutionary Francois Mackandal – a Vadou priest and Toussaint Louverture, a General. Bogeyman vividly tapping into the spirits of those that endured the suffering they did, and the strength they embodied in order to battle for their freedom, Aboud attentive to detail, meticulously mapping out the nation’s history within the script that inspires me to do further research.
Aboud captures the land’s spiritual facet attentively, aware of how spirituality is often demonised and assigned as ‘Black Magic’ within the West. She taps into the rage of ancestors of present, whether experienced publicly or privately, and how the past has resulted in where we’re all at now – the staging, consisting of a neon lit blue crescent – moon like with mini palm trees and a glossy black pool like cut out that covers the ground, further taking us away from the city and with it bringing a spiritual element to it.
A vital history lesson adding a piece to the complex puzzle piecing the events of the slave trade across many nations together.
Written by Lucy Basaba.
Bogeyman is currently showing until Monday 29th August 2022 at the Pleasance Dome – Queen Dome as part of this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe. To find out more about the production, visit here…