Happy spicy Sunday!
All summer, Kew Gardens has been full of spice while exploring the botanical origins of these fascinating products. The PICKLIZ team could not help but to pay the beautiful park a visit!
Do not miss out on the spice mix super-computer 2.0, where you can create your own personal spice blend, or take a rickshaw and go on a journey of discovery, through the world of spices. The garden also created a live version of the Scoville scale, to which the PICKLIZ team got very excited.
Go check it out today as it is the last day of this spicy festival! You can either get your ticket here or straight at the entrance.
Happy spicy Sunday!
All men equal! Liberty!
These were the aspirations general Toussaint L’Ouverture had for the slaves of Saint Domingue, today known as Haiti. Hats off to director Joseph Charles and writer Anthony Maddalena for putting on stage a colossus of a story, rich in emotions.
‘Black Spartacus’ is a tale of the exploits of a self-educated man with no military training who led the Haitian slave uprising of 1791 and drove no one else but Napoleon Bonaparte out of the island. Dominique, Pickliz’s resident blogger, had the honour to meet Joseph Charles, who is also the founder of Thee Black Swan Theatre Company, at the Courtyard Theatre.
Mr Charles, whose mother originates from Saint Lucia, was an avid young reader. One day as he was strolling through the library, a book with a black man on the cover written by C.L.R. James, an influential historian, journalist and socialist theorist, caught his eye. The book was about Toussaint L’Ouverture. He says: “Back in the 60s, it was rare to read stories about black men written by a black man. I read the book and was enamoured with it.” As Charles got older, he had the urge to find out more about this historical figure.
Many books and articles refer to Toussaint L’Ouverture as the “Black Napoleon”, but the director refused to give the play this title. “Why would I call Toussaint by the name of the person who imprisoned him and ultimately led him to his death? That is going backwards. The general that was in control at the time [general Leclerc], and that Toussaint defeated repeatedly, actually gave him the name of Black Spartacus as a reference to the man who challenged Rome and avenged his people of ancient wrongs. To me, this comparison seemed more appropriate”.
Charles also explained that although C.L.R. James did a great service by telling the story of the Haitian Revolution, he had failed to cover the religious dilemmas Toussaint had to go through. With this play, Charles is attempting to show the predicament the general may have experienced with his own religion, Catholicism, and the one of his people, known today as, voodoo. Moreover, despite the numerous poems Toussaint inspired throughout the centuries, not many people know about this man who has changed the course of history for many colonies in the new world. Charles adds: “ Given that I grew up in England, I know this place and the system here. Those are some of the reasons why it made sense to me to tell this remarkable story in London. ”
Black Spartacus is an epic tale of justice, freedom, hope and patriotism and everyone can understand and relate to the themes explored. This play transcends time, cultures and ethnicities. Definitely a must see!
‘Black Spartacus’ is playing at the Courtyard Theatre until 13 September 2015. Hurry and buy your tickets here. You can also check out the play’s Facebook page.
Hi! I’m Dominique and the blogger at Pickliz.net. Explore here the world of foodies, spice and markets, particularly in London, where I am currently living. Find out more about the French Caribbean, where PICKLIZ® originated.
And of course, much more…