Created by Medway African and Caribbean Association (MACA) and commissioned by Theatre31, the HipHopera project tells the stories of the Windrush generation through song and dance, celebrating the rich music culture of this movement.

Through a blend of hip hop, gospel, jazz, Caribbean, and afrobeat, Windrush: the struggle continues explores how historical events influenced music and dancing today.

With a core company of eighteen young people from Medway and Sheppey, Ola Owolabi, a local music producer, and Lexi Maize, choreographer, co-created a soundtrack, narrative and choreography that not only represents the young people involved, but brings to life the Windrush story as it happened here in Kent.

In March 2020, the UK went into a national lockdown due to the global COVID-19 pandemic – just as the team started working on this ambitious musical project. After gathering online and in open spaces as restrictions momentarily lifted, the group were eventually able to reunite in the dance and music studio once again.

Though the team at MACA had originally intended to create a full theatrical play, Theatre31 supported creatives to work alongside their young artists to make a short film instead. The film offers an exclusive look behind the scenes, that explores the creative journey and showcases a musical number performed by its cast of young people.

All activity shown in this film has been created following the UK Government COVID-19 secure guidelines at that given time.

A Medway African and Caribbean Association project
Commissioned by Theatre31

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— Year 5 teacher, Queenborough School and Nursery, Sheppey
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