An­niver­sary of Robe­son’s broad­cast

Glamorgan Gazette - - Your Diary -

OCTOBER 5 is the 60th an­niver­sary of Amer­i­can ac­tor and singer Paul Robe­son’s fa­mous transat­lantic broad­cast to the Min­ers’ Eisteddfod at the Grand Pav­il­ion in Porth­cawl.

The Broad­way and West End star, who was a Civil Rights ac­tivist who had been in­ves­ti­gated by the FBI and MI5, had been in­vited to at­tend in per­son but had been de­nied a pass­port by US of­fi­cials who branded his po­lit­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties un-Amer­i­can dur­ing the height of Cold War-era para­noia.

So he sang a se­lec­tion of songs over a transat­lantic tele­phone line, which was re­layed via loud speaker to the crowd, which then sang back to him.

To mark the an­niver­sary the Grand Pav­il­ion is host­ing an ex­hi­bi­tion of the Robe­son story in the Stage Door and, with the sup­port of the Arts Coun­cil of Wales, cre­at­ing a new piece of youth theatre.

The ex­hi­bi­tion runs un­til Sun­day with a special launch event on Thurs­day hosted by BBC broad­caster and Robe­son ex­pert Bev­er­ley Humphries.

On Fri­day and Satur­day, Novem­ber 3 and 4, Brid­gend Youth Theatre will per­form their new play, Robe­son Re­mem­bered, di­rected by Roger Bur­nell, writ­ten by Louise Os­bourne and with an orig­i­nal score by the es­teemed com­poser John Rea at the Grand Pav­il­ion.

It will also be per­formed at Maesteg Town Hall on Novem­ber 18.

For tick­ets, priced at £7, con­tact the box of­fice on 01656 815995.

Amer­i­can ac­tor and singer

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