As the American War of Independence reaches its climax, the freed plantation slave Thomas Peters and John Clarkson of the British navy embark upon a journey which will redefine racial politics and change attitudes towards slavery forever...
Rough Crossings tells the heroic story of the resettlement of a group of former slaves in West Africa and of the bruising relationship between Peters and Clarkson, divided by the barriers of race, but united in their ambitions of equality. Moving from the meeting houses of London to the inhospitable terrain of Sierra Leone, Rough Crossings is a vibrantly theatrical exploration of racial identity, of home, of what it means to be free.
Adapted from Simon Schama's brilliantly provocative account, Rough Crossings explores the powerful contemporary resonances of this tipping point in history. In Headlong Theatre's world premiere, the award-winning playwright and novelist Caryl Phillips carved a rich dramatic narrative from Schama's bestseller.
Headlong's tour of Rough Crossings marked the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade act in the British Empire.