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.
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”.
‘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.