A virtual reading of Katori Hall’s acclaimed play, The Mountaintop, will be streamed for free on the Royal Exchange’s YouTube channel on 10 June and will be available until 15 June. Donations are welcomed, with funds raised to support the legal costs incurred by protesters who are incarcerated. The theatre says the production is designed to “bring communities together through incisive storytelling and because Black Lives Matter”.
The Mountaintop is set on the eve of Martin Luther King’s assassination during the Civil Rights movement and will reunite cast members Gbolahan Obisesan and Ronkẹ Adékoluẹjo and will be directed by Roy Alexander Weise, joint artistic director of Manchester’s Royal Exchange theatre.
The reading will be introduced by Weise and Hall, who in 2010 won the Olivier award for best new play for The Mountaintop.
Weise aid: “COVID-19 is the latest pandemic to strike but we’ve all been dodging a virus for centuries; the sickness of Racism. The structures have been more acutely illuminated in our country and more blindingly so in America but the pain and rage felt by Black people around the world today is NOT new. The deaths and violence are NOT new. For Black people, I offer this story for catharsis. I see you. I grieve and scream and feel and do with and for you. For white people it’s an opportunity to listen, really listen and to learn; with your families and those you are connected to.
The Moutaintop is a call to arms. The world is watching us all. What will YOU do? HERE. IN THIS COUNTRY. We are on the cusp of something that could change the story of humanity and the quality of life for every human being to walk the earth from this point forward. We all have a part to play. As we think on the life of Dr King, may we also think of the lives lost and those sacrificing theirs right now for the lives of all our children and their children yet to come.”
Streamed for free on the Royal Exchange’s YouTube channel from 10 June