Matilda and Me is a dubtheatre, biomyth (biographical mythology) performed solo by Ria Hartley and devised through extensive training in the s.o.r.p.l.u.s.i methodology at the YEMOYA international artist residency (Jamaica) by internationally acclaimed dub poet, monodramatist and educator d’bi young anitafrika, performed by Ria Hartley.
A woman makes a decision that will change her family’s history and the course of their future. Five decades later this performance considers the eminence and consequence of that choice voiced through the third generation granddaughter who is speaking from both perspectives of herself and Matilda. Reflecting on the history of the two islands, Great Britain and Jamaica, the storyteller is faced with contradictions in her in-betweeness as she contemplates the slave trade and the expansion of the British Empire.
This colourful and challenging performance weaves together storytelling, spoken word, dubpoetry, live art, autobiography, and reggae music charged with political content surrounding migration, colonialism, racism, and the crucial shifts needed in the perception of our British cultural identity.
The initial creation and development of Matilda and Me was supported by the Arts Council England and National Lottery Heritage Fund, YEMOYA international artists’ residency, and Solo Contemporary Performance Forum.