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The amazing story of Paul Robeson

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Calling Mr Robeson

Trades Club, Hebden Bridge on October 21

The life and times of legendary singer and political activist Paul Robeson is brought to life in a new show coming to Hebden Bridge Trades Club on Sunday October 21.

Calling Mr Robeson is performed by Tayo Alunk with live piano accompaniment and looks back at the turbulent career of one of the 20th Century’s most impressive but overlooked figures who was not only a world-famous actor and singer but an outspoken civil rights campaigner.

When Robeson, pictured here inset on a visit to Leeds in 1958, became too radical and outspoken for the establishment’s liking he was branded a traitor to his country, was harassed, and denied opportunities to perform or travel.

This roller-coaster journey through Robeson’s remarkable life highlights how his pioneering and heroic political activism led many to describe him as the forerunner of the civil rights movement.

It features Tayo singing some of Robeson’s famous songs including a dramatic rendition of Ol’ Man River, recreating his most famous speeches and his spectacularly defiant testimony to the Senate House Un-American Activities Committee.

Calling Mr Robeson has been performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall and in the West End.

Mal Campbell, Trades Club entertainment manager said: “We decided to put on this award winning show because the life and times of a brave man like Paul Robeson fits in perfectly with our values of standing up for equality and opposing oppression.

“Tayo is a fantastic performer who not only brings this mighty singer to life but also shows how Robeson’s refusal to be quite came at huge personal and professional cost.”

Tickets for Calling Mr Robeson are available from thetradesclub.com