Turn Up London: Filmed live at Cadogan Hall, London10th July 2020
Turn Up is a fundraising charity event, recorded at London’s stunning Cadogan Hall. It features live performances and band, with a handful of exclusive home performances and voice overs from the USA and UK. Turn Up unites black voices from across the West End, Broadway, activism, community leadership and beyond to raise funds and awareness for four important charities – The Bail Project, The Okra Project, The Black Curriculum and UK Black Pride – in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Nicole Raquel Dennis and Ryan Carter’s vision for sending a powerful message through music, readings, poetry and speeches from prominent figures in the Black community Internationally not only supports the Black Lives Matter movement but also offers a glimmer of hope for many performers, who due to the Covid-19 pandemic have been unable to perform since March.
Featuring a wealth of talent from the soulful, smooth unique tone of Cedric Neal to the uplifting blend of recent 2020 graduates this is certainly a concert not to be missed. Obioma Ugoala stuns with his rich, powerful version of ‘Make Them Hear You’ and Rachel John’s emotive song ‘Coloured Women’ from hit show, Memphis proves that no audience was needed tonight. Each artist gave a stellar performance despite following social distancing measures throughout the performance and performing to an empty auditorium.
History was made when Brittney Johnson (Broadway’s first Black Glinda) and Alexia Khadime (West End’s first Black Elphaba) sang ‘For Good’ from Wicked. Despite being in separate continents the two sing together perfectly and still manage to raise goose bumps.
Throughout the excellent music numbers viewers have the chance to listen to readings, speeches and poetry from various people including Angela Davis and Maya Angelou. Joe Aaron Reid and Annabel Mutale Reed’s speeches are both extremely moving, thought provoking and powerful. Regardless of colour, everyone has a duty to stop discrimination of others and listening to the speeches given during the show certainly reignites the fire for justice.
Of course, in addition to the hard-hitting speeches and performances there are also some lively, sing along numbers like ‘I’m Every Woman’ performed by Kelly Agbowu, Nicole Raquel Dennis and Natalie Kassanga and ‘Joyful, Joyful’ by the 2020 Alumni. Finishing the show perfectly was ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ performed by Layton Williams, Marcus Collins and Rachel Adedeji.
The work of over 150 individuals comes together seamlessly to provide not only an entertaining evening but also a thoroughly thought-provoking one. The Black Lives Matters movement is vital and will continue long after the current pandemic is over. We must use our voices and make a change. In the words of Maya Angelou, ‘Still We Rise’.
Turn Up is supporting The Bail Project, The Okra Project, The Black Curriculum and UK Black Pride. For more information on these organisations see below:
- The Bail Project is a national non-profit organisation that pays bail for people in need, reuniting families and restoring the presumption of innocence.
- The Okra Project is a collective that seeks to address the global crisis faced by Black Trans people by bringing home cooked, healthy, and culturally specific meals and resources to Black Trans People wherever they can reach them.
- The Black Curriculum is a social enterprise founded in 2019 by young people to address the lack of Black British history in the UK Curriculum. They believe that by delivering arts focused Black history programmes, providing teacher training and campaigning through mobilising young people, they can facilitate social change.
- UK Black Pride is Europe’s largest celebration for African, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American and Caribbean-Heritage LGBTQ people.
Turn Up is streaming on the 11th and 12th July with the 12th July also being a captioned performance. For tickets and information please click here. With tickets priced at just £10 and for such an important cause you’d be crazy to miss this sensational concert streamed to the comfort of your own home.