On Sunday June 18th 2017 at the Attenborough Centre, the staged rehearsed reading of A Scholar & A Statesman, an important play written and produced by Pamela Roberts FRSA, with myself as Dramaturge/ Director took place. The play had seven professional actors and it features the story of a local Leicestershire hero. Arthur James Harley, who was born in Antigua, he lived at the turn of the century and settled in Shepshed Leicester, after a number of Academic Achievements at Harvard USA, and Oxford England, before becoming a Reverend of the Church of England. At the Attenborough Centre there was a good attendance, of a diverse audience made up, various locals, prominent members of the Antiguan community, along with with her Excellency Karen Hill, the High Commissioner of Antigua & Barbuda also present.
The event was ably introduced by Host Makeda and throughout the reading the actors gave very strong performances, that captivated the audience throughout. After a warm round of applause, Makeda then briefly interviewed Pamela Roberts, Carol Leeming and three of the Actors, to comment on their thoughts and experiences with regard to the play. There then followed a lively Q&A with the audience, e.g questions around the writing of the text, staging the reading, or specific characters of the play. Many audience members expressed not only their enjoyment of the piece overall, but their connection to the themes highlighted in the narrative text. There were many favorable comments from the audience members, as to specifically the acting, directing lighting etc. along with their wish to see the final production. In addition , for this production to be widely shown, as performance and also with audio, printed background materials, to be shared across England, and in Antigua itself as part of important Black History,