The Great Experiment – touring
Border Crossings present a new play at venues across London
‘I didn’t know that when slavery was abolished in 1833, it was the slave owners that were compensated. The biggest bailout until 2009’s bank bailout. I didn’t know that Britain’s wealth had so much to do with empire and exploitation. I didn’t know that Britain had never made an apology. I didn’t know.’
Slavery may have been abolished in 1833, but in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries over 2 million Indian migrant labourers were indentured to work in plantations around the world. The workers boarded ships that would take them thousands of miles from home in search of ‘a better life’, while the abolitionists, and Indian nationalists, called this a ‘new system of slavery’ and the ‘international shame of the Indian’.
The roots of our Mauritian, Asian-Caribbean, Malaysian & Asian-African communities are all buried in this history, known as The Great Experiment.
As award-winning theatre-makers Border Crossings create their new play about these indentured migrations, the company of actors from Mauritius and the UK begin to feel the weight of history in their own lives and their responsibility to the past. Join them as together they question who has the right to tell a story and who has the right to be heard.
Explore this hidden history further with our programme of wraparound events and experiences: arrive early to look around the interactive exhibition which forms the show’s set; attend a post-show discussion with cast members, researchers and historians; come along to a Collection Day where audiences will be invited to share and discuss items from their family history