From April 2005 the First of May Band - the musical wing of Banner Theatre -
will be touring Wild Geese, a brand new musical and multimedia show. The
premiere will be in Birmingham on Friday 8 April. You can get more info at
Banner's 1st of May Band combines Fred Wisdom's subtle blues, jazz and flamenco
guitar rhythms with Jilah Bakhshayesh's wild klezmer fiddle and lyrical singing,
and Dave Rogers' gutsy vocals and 30-year history of writing hard-edged
political songs. The show is a musical story for our times - hard-hitting,
entertaining and inspiring. The band offers a unique multimedia performance
that combines the best in contemporary roots-based music with powerful and
dramatic video-based stories to delight audiences and make them think.
Wild Geese looks at migration from the point of view of the migrants themselves,
reflecting their hopes and dreams and the often harsh realities of their lives.
It intertwines video stories of Irish nurses in the 1950s with Asian textile
workers in the 1960s, Iranian refugees in the 1980s and Chinese cockle pickers
risking their lives in Morecambe Bay in 2004. The show also celebrates the
success of central American and African cleaners in organising with the
Transport & General Workers Union for a living wage in London's fabulously rich
"Our task is not to fear migrant workers, but instead to welcome them to our
shores. Our task is not to allow migrant workers to be scapegoated for taking
jobs or driving down wages and conditions, but instead to argue it is bad bosses
who drive down wages and
conditions."- Jack Dromey (Deputy General Secretary, TGWU) at the 2004 TUC
"Jazz, rap, Eastern European music and blues to tell the deeply moving stories
of Iraqi refugees in Britain" - (Manchester Evening News)
"..they aroused emotions ranging from joy to utter sadness, from despair to
anger, and then to determination." - (Yorkshire Evening Post)
Touring from April 2005
The First of May Band is touring Wild Geese from 19 April, in June and July and
again in October as part of Black History Month. We welcome booking enquiries
via our website www.bannertheatre.co.uk
For a performance, we need a hall or other venue with a ceiling height of 8' 6",
a performance area measuring 15 feet by 15 feet, access to six 13 amp sockets
and level access to the performance space (ie no stairs). We bring all our
equipment, including set, PA, lighting, musical instruments, video and mixing
desks. We also supply promotional leaflets (in print and electronic formats)
and support to promote the show through the local and regional media.
Banner has been working for 30 years to develop documentary theatre productions
about contemporary issues and struggles, and to provide
live music and song-based entertainment for community groups of all kinds,
trades unions, training schools and socials.
The company has been supported by Arts Council England, Birmingham City Council,
Birmingham Community Empowerment Network, Comic
Relief, the European Social Fund and the Sir Barry Jackson Trust. Banner
Theatre also receives support from the Baring Foundation.
We look forward to hearing from you.