A One Man Play About Martin Luther King Jnr – Written and Performed by Christopher Tajah
Martin Luther King Jnr is an icon. He is hero of mine, as he is for many. He inspires me to do better; to try harder. He was a unifying figure when alive. In today’s Britain in 2018 Black & Minority, Ethnic communities can very often find themselves feeling marginalised, isolated and used as scapegoats. King wanted to pull Communities together not push them apart. So for me as a black actor living and working in Britain I wanted to reflect, challenge and question the world that I live in. Martin is the perfect role model to hold up to the powers in government that want to keep the poor and BME communities marginalised and under-represented. Martin is the black community’s gift to the world, helping us to learn be way of his example; his discipline, pride, determination, intelligence, self-reliance and excellence.
Dream of a King, is a one person play about Martin Luther King Jnr. He is a continual source of inspiration to me, an iconic figure. He was a great black man who exuded a sense of pride, dignity, intelligence and humanity. I wrote my play to try to understand the man behind the great orator.
I started writing the play in 2015 and I have been working on it since then. I am continually researching articles on the internet and reading books about him and watching documentaries.
Why am I doing this promotion?
A promo is a great way to spark interest, it’s a way to stimulate like minded people who might like to find out more and hopefully come to see my play in the Theatre. A One Man Play About Martin Luther King Jnr – Written and Performed by Christopher Tajah
How did I recreate his accent?
Sometimes as an actor no matter how much research and work you put into discovering how a person speaks, their dialect or accent, their walk, their tone of voice, you never quite get them. But there are times when it’s just down to luck. You just happen to sound or look like the individual you are portraying. I am able (by luck) to do a Southern American accent and at times I can get close to king’s cadence and delivery.
How did I feel when I played him for the first time?
I was very nervous playing King for the first time because it’s a great sense of responsibility to portray an icon on film or stage. I want my performance’s to be honourable, respectful and honest. Acting is my profession and I take it very seriously. If an audience have decided that the want to give up their precious time and part with their hard earned cash to watch me perform, then I have a duty to give them the very best performance that I can give. I was also very nervous because this is a one person show and as well as that, I am the author.
I have placed a great deal of pressure onto my shoulders. Not to mention a large quantity of lines to deliver. I am on stage for the entire length of the play, “there is no safety net!”
What has been the audience reaction to the play?
The audience reaction to my play ‘Dream of a King’ has been fantastic. When I meet the audience after the show they are always very complementary, enthusiastic, friendly and warm. I get a great sense of satisfaction and achievement, sometimes they say they have learnt something new about Dr King after watching the play. That kind of reaction and performing for younger people in schools, colleges and Universities, makes it all worthwhile.