Inkle and Yarico was a comic opera originally staged in London in 1787. English trader Inkle is shipwrecked on the shores of a tropical island in the West Indies and nursed back to life by the beautiful slavegirl, Yarico. But upon returning to civilisation, their romance seems to be fated for disaster, as the impecunious hero plans to sell his beloved into slavery. It is supposedly based on a true story; Richard Ligon was a British globetrotter and author of a guide to Barbados. The play was performed over 150 times in the West End and went on to international fame.
Jodie Kidd, a high fashion model, was born and raised in Barbados in a former plantation house.
“My heart is really in this. It is such a poignant love story but it is a lot more than that. It really is a story that, as it became popular, helped change the course of history.”
She and her father, John, will be co-producing Yarico. Jodie’s mother set up a popular annual arts festival whilst living in Barbados, which is where they first came across the operetta. “The story of Inkle and Yarico was so important in the 1700s to the way we viewed slavery. It was part of a whole shift in attitudes.” They have enlisted the talents of James McConnell, Paul Leigh and Carl Miller to rework the classic story for the modern stage. Lyricist Leigh has worked alongside the master Stephen Sondheim and Carl Miller earned great acclaim for his adaptation of Emil and the Detectives for the National last Christmas.
Described as a story “that fired the world’s imagination and contributed to the social movement against the slave trade”, this is a show that’s been well worth the wait.
|What||Yarico at the London Theatre Workshop, Chelsea|
London Theatre Workshop, Chelsea
65 New King’s Road, London, SW6 4SG | MAP
|Nearest tube||Parsons Green (underground)|
17 Feb 15 – 14 Mar 15, Evening (Tuesday – Saturday): 7:30pm Matinee (Saturday): 2:30pm
|Website||Click here for more information|