Tuesday 21 September 2021 7:30PM

An Inconvenient Black History of British Musical Theatre 1900-1950

Blake, Cook, Hunter and more
Live stream starts at 8:00PM


This concert will be live streamed on this website in HD. The video will be available on demand after the date of the broadcast. Watch live here

Download the PDF programme here. Reproduction and distribution is strictly prohibited.


  • Shanté Campbell director
  • Sean Mayes presenter
  • Sarah K Whitfield presenter
  • Jonathan Andrew Hume singer
  • Esme Sears soprano

This concert celebrates the heritage and importance of Black music and performance to Wigmore Hall and the wider British musical theatre industries. At the invitation of John Gilhooly, Sean Mayes and Sarah K. Whitfield will also launch their new book An Inconvenient Black History of British Musical Theatre 1900-1950 (Methuen Drama). Through innovative hybrid concert and discussion form, Mayes and Whitfield will discuss the hidden history the book uncovers, the urgency of uncovering the work of Black creative practitioners, and what it means for the future.

West End performer Jonathan Andrew Hume (Come from Away, The Lion King) and emerging soprano Esme Sears will join Mayes in performances of songs and repertoire that re-centre Black musical experience. The concert is directed by Shanté Campbell.

  • Johnson (1873-1954)
      • Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing
  • Cook (1869-1944)
      • In Dahomey overture selections
        • (arranged by Sean Mayes)
  • Traditional
      • Standin’ in the need o’ prayer
        • (arranged by John C. Payne)
  • Jerome Kern (1885-1945)
      • Stepping Stones
        • Once in a Blue Moon
  • Hunter (1895-1984)
      • Downhearted Blues
  • Eubie Blake (1887-1983)
      • Memories of You
        • (arranged by Sean Mayes)
  • Traditional
      • Weepin' Mary
        • (arranged by Henry T. Burleigh)
  • Overstreet (1888-1935)
      • There'll Be Some Changes Made

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