Story Jam: The tale of Phil Okwedy and The London Shanty Collective


A man in a furry suit lead to October’s Story Jam. It’s not often you can say that! Earlier this year, alongside Kate and Ben from the Crick Crack Club, we made a Wild Concert at the Wellcome Collection. Choirs, storytellers, clanging bells, strange creatures roaming the audience – it was quite a night!

When one of the men performing that night as a (very) Wild Man told us he also sings in a shanty choir, our ears pricked up. And when the Albany asked us to do something for Black History Month we knew we could do something unique, right at the heart of our Reel & Unravel Season. We’ve invited Welsh Nigerian storyteller Phil Okwedy and The London Shanty Collective to tell the stories and sing the songs from our shared history: those who were bought, sold and sailed across the ocean, and the truth that binds us all. Let’s go to deep places together.

We hope you will come, we hope you will spread the word, tell your friends and bring them along to Canada Water. Please note Canada Water Theatre is in the modern Library building right beside Canada Water tube. Book Here



Phil Okwedy and The London Shanty Collective

Thursday 19 October | 7.30pm

Canada Water Theatre, Canada Water Library

In the passage from life to death, it is seldom plain sailing and often the final destination is not what was bargained for. In stories of empire, the terrifying experience of the passage on the slave ship is known but largely ignored. Imagine, then, a story in which the suffering of the middle passage leads to the triumph of a final return home. A profound, reflective and powerful night of tales that are particular and universal.

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