Coming to England: Floella Benjamin’s Beloved Autobiography Takes the Stage in a Vibrant UK Tour

Written by on 20th June 2024

Celebrating the anniversary of National Windrush Day, Nicoll Entertainment and MAST Mayflower Studios proudly present the UK tour of “Coming to England,” a captivating stage adaptation of Floella Benjamin’s award-winning autobiographical book. The tour kicks off on September 13, 2024, at Swansea Grand Theatre.

Adapted by renowned playwright David Wood, hailed as ‘the national children’s dramatist’ by The Times, “Coming to England” is a heart warming and inspirational tale that resonates deeply with both children and families. The production weaves music, storytelling, and song to bring Floella Benjamin’s poignant journey to life.

At just 10 years old, Floella and her siblings left Trinidad, embarking on a brave voyage to join their parents in England. However, their excitement soon turned to hardship as they faced racism and intolerance in 1960s London. Guided by her resilient mother and driven by a determination to succeed, Floella’s story is one of overcoming adversity. Her journey from a hopeful child to becoming Baroness Benjamin of Beckenham is a testament to the power of perseverance and hope.

Baroness Floella Benjamin shares her enthusiasm for the project:

“I am absolutely thrilled and excited that a vibrant musical, based on my book ‘Coming to England’ is set to go on tour around the country. This uplifting and inspirational Windrush story was written emotionally through the eyes of the child and as we have all been children it will resonate with everyone. Coming to England is a positive story of love, adventure, belonging, facing challenges and overcoming adversity to become successful. I can’t wait to see it burst onto the stage.”

The production boasts a stellar creative team led by Director Denzel Westley Sanderson, known for his work with Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and the National Theatre. He is joined by Designer Jasmine Swan, Musical Director Abdul Shyllon, and Choreographer & Movement Director Kloe Dean. The adaptation by David Wood OBE, a leading figure in children’s theatre, promises to deliver a memorable and impactful experience. His notable works include adaptations of beloved stories by Roald Dahl, Judith Kerr, and Philip Pullman. Completing the team are Lighting Designer James Whiteside, Sound Designer Beth Duke, and Casting Directors Richard Johnston, Pippa Ailion, and Natalie Gallacher.

Floella Benjamin’s career spans over five decades, during which she has made significant contributions to the entertainment industry as an actress, singer, presenter, writer, and more. She has authored over 30 children’s books, with “Coming to England” first published in hardback in 1995. The book, which has since been used in educational settings to teach modern history, was re-published as a 20th anniversary edition and recognized as a Guardian ‘Book of the Year 2016’ and Times Book of the Month.

This vibrant and energetic musical adaptation of “Coming to England” promises to be an inspiring and entertaining experience for the whole family. Don’t miss the chance to see this remarkable story of love, adventure, and triumph come to life on stage as it tours the UK starting this September.

For tour dates and ticket information, visit Floella Benjamin’s Coming to England – Swansea Grand Theatre

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