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Giles Terera's The Meaning of Zong on BBC Radio

Olivier-winner’s play about a horrific 18th century slave massacre is broadcast on Radio 3, March 21
By News Team
Published on March 19, 2021

Giles Terera, The Meaning of Zong

Giles Terera’s play The Meaning of Zong, about the horrific massacre of African slaves in 1781, will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Sunday March 21 at 8pm, then on BBC Sounds.

The Olivier Award-winner, whose one man performance Black Matters is reviewed here, has recently released his debut album and will shortly launch his memoir, Hamilton and Me. Now Terera's startling play explores a watershed moment in the campaign to abolish the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Developed at the National Theatre Studio and Bristol Old Vic in 2018, it tells the story of the discovery of the massacre of 132 enslaved Africans aboard the slave ship Zong in 1781, and the impact it had on the pioneering Abolitionist, Olaudah Equiano.

“I wanted to tell this story because it explains how we all arrived at the Britain we are living in today,” Terera says. “It explains why people feel the need to pull statues down. We can better understand where we are by acknowledging how we got here. And we can understand where we're going by understanding where we've been…It is a difficult subject but the best stories, though they can be the hardest to face are often the most rewarding.”

The radio play is supported by an open conversation on the play and its resonance today, which will be held on Zoom on the 31 March at 8pm with the cast and creative team. Find it here

Listen to the play on BBC Radio 3 on Sunday March 21 at 8pm. It’s then available on BBC Sounds here
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