Birmingham 2022 Festival presents a China Plate & Birmingham Hippodrome production

Bus Boycott

Produced in association with Warwick Arts Centre and DRPG

A group of men and women standing in a semi circle looking directly to the camera.

Show History

Before being known as To The Streets! the musical went through a period of development under the working title Bus Boycott.

During this time, the creative team took several research trips to Bristol, including a visit to Seven Saints of Saint Paul’s, as well as meeting with elders at the Malcolm X Community Centre. Here they met Roy Hackett – a leading figure behind the Bristol Bus Boycott and Joyce Moris-Wisdom – who joined the protest as a teenager; both of whom are a huge inspiration for Roy Williams (Book) and Tim Suttton (Music & Lyrics), as they write the musical.

In the Summer of 2021, we hosted the Bus Boycott Block Party as part of a co-curated events programme, led by our Associate Producers Aksana Khan and Diandra McCalla, to celebrate North Birmingham’s reputation of intergenerational activism.

The party provided a live preview of the musical, showcased the talent of our Birmingham commissioned artists (Jane Thakoordin, Nilupa Yasmin, Black Heritage Walks Network and Overhear) and most importantly – it brought out the block.

Since then, each of the commissioned artists has been working towards developing their projects; We Still Here, Soho Settlers and On Our Way; for the Birmingham 2022 Festival – a six-month cultural programme, running alongside the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

These 3 community-led projects will bring residents and artists together to explore what it means to choose communities, the art of protest, and intergenerational stories within Caribbean and South Asian communities, and have been grown alongside To The Streets! . Performances of the concert musical will be taking place in parks across Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton* in Summer 2022.

Following the block party, in September 2021, Bus Boycott was one of 38 new musicals in development presented at BEAM – the UK’s biggest showcase of new musical theatre. The showcase returned as a new live and digital all day event, after it was postponed in 2020.

If you would like to find out more about To The Streets! please contact our Producer Tamara Moore, or if you are interested in finding out more about our community projects, please contact our Associate Producers Aksana Khan and Jade Samuels.

For more information about the Birmingham 2022 Festival, please visit: birmingham2022.com/festival/

Generously supported by Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Warwick Arts Centre and Garfield Weston Foundation

The R&D was supported by Blueprint: Without Walls R&D Investment FundThe events programme was produced by China Plate in association with Birmingham Hippodrome, supported by Birmingham City Council.

Photo © Tim Sutton

Creative Team

Three men stand around a piano, one is playing the piano, one is leaning on the piano, the other man is listening.

Tim Sutton & Roy Williams

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  • Director | Christopher Haydon
  • Book | Roy Williams
  • Music & Lyrics | Tim Sutton
  • Producers | China Plate & Birmingham Hippodrome

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To The Streets!

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Bus Boycott Block Party

A fun family day out inspired by the landmark 1963 Bristol Bus Boycott.

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Introducing our Associate Producers

17th February 2021

We are delighted to welcome Associate Producers Aksana Khan and Diandra McCalla to the China Plate team!

Written by Aksana & Diandra