Brighton Festival Live: The Spalding Suite

Interviews

Inua Ellams, Benji Reid & Fuel

A new physical theatre show inspired by the UK's basketball sub-culture. 

‘When we were young, we worshipped stars.
Gleaming long-limbed gods
framed in the act of impossible flight,
For a time we tried to follow,
to carve out our own piece of sky
with a butter-smooth arc of an arm
and a Spalding ball glued to the fingertips’

Fresh poetry combined with contemporary movement celebrates the elegance and beauty of basketball. Seen from a British perspective, The Spalding Suite gets to the heart and soul of the gravity-defying game and delves into the hopes and dreams of those who play it. Six dynamic performers mix live beat-boxing, hip-hop, music, moves and poetry, taking us from the fleeting high of the score and the robust camaraderie of the team, to the poignant lows of a body too worn to play the game.

Conceived and written by Inua Ellams
Directed by Benji Reid
Inspired by the poetry of Nick Makoha, Bohdan Piasecki and Roger Robinson, with poems from Jacob Sam-La Rose and Nii Ayikwei Parkes
Sound by Eric Lau/MC Zani
Design by Ti Green
Lighting by Benji Reid & Lee Grey

Produced by Fuel
Commissioned by Southbank Centre and Contact
Funded by Arts Council England and a Wellcome Trust Arts Award