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Black Man Don't Float?


Black Man Don't Float? is a performance collaboration between established arts professionals and international academics committed to the principles of theatre for development, reconciliation and conflict resolution.

 Martin Hubbard:



Martin Hubbard is a performer, writer and academic lecturing at University College Falmouth, the University of Exeter and Plymouth University

His mix of theory and performance practice ensures vibrant work that is both inviting and intellectually engaging.


Ayo and Martin come from very different backgrounds and have worked together as performer and writer on Makbet with Patrice Niamabana (2004) Awooplay (2005) and Mami Wata and the Black Atlantic (2007)


Black Man Don't Float?

has been developed 

with the following partners:

 Osita Okagbue – Consultant.


Osita is senior lecturer in African Theatre at Goldsmiths University in London.

He has taught African Theatre, Cross Cultural Studies in Performance, Performance Theory & Practice at the universities of Nigeria at Nsukka and Plymouth at Exmouth.

He is the founding President of the African Theatre Association (AfTA) and founding Editor of African Performance Review (APR). 

Sierra Leone Diaspora Network


The Sierra Leone Diaspora Network (SLDN) is a multi-disciplinary,non-partisan, non-denominational team of highly skilled professionals dedicated to addressing & influencing economic, environmental and social issues and processes in our home country.

We work in partnership with the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) and its relevant agencies, national and international NGOs, the private sector and local communities, with the aim of encouraging and effecting long-term and sustainable development in Sierra Leone.


Black Man Don't Float?

Touring to UK Schools and Studio Theatres, 

contact:  red@sameboatproject.com


Black Man Don’t Float?  is a highly physical show usually performed on a boat, which is coming ashore to UK schools and studio theatres in Autumn 2008 and  2009 as part of an epic voyage across stages, oceans and continents.

You remember all that time I was telling you about Europe? Tonight is going to be good – there is going to be nice sunshine, there is going to be no moon. Tell Sedu and Brima: tonight we are going.

In the ocean off Africa, a white yachtsman collides with an economic migrant who is trying to reach the Canaries in a rickety home-made vessel. 

Black men don’t float. They are dead. No point going back for dead people.

The two men have to co-operate to survive, but their differences appear overwhelming. The sea they see is not the same sea. They are confined in a small space under a vast sky, but are they in the same boat?.

The sea that I see is not the same sea that you see, White Man. Me and my brothers risk our lives just to be on the edge of what you’ve got. 

Black Man Don’t Float? helps UK audiences understand why African migrants are leaving their continent in search of the European Dream. When performed in West Africa, the show seeks to prevent Africans from drowning in poorly planned and equipped voyages. 

Feel that wind my love, Look at you, gliding on the curl of the wind, white in the night, phosphorescing in the dark

UK audiences can communicate directly with young Africans via participation in the Black Man Don’t Float? workshop programme, which generates a cultural cargo to be carried on a theatrical re-tracing of the Atlantic Slave Triangle in 2009 

The water will come up your face, but stop before your mouth and nose as long as you keep your arms and legs down. 

The show lasts 45 minutes without an interval, requires a playing space of 8ft by 8ft and simple studio lighting and sound facilities.

We will take the bodies back to their villages in Africa and bury them in the earth and tell people that no more young men should drown in this sea.

Not for profit:

The Sameboat Project is a not-for-profit organisation committed to using cross cultural art and performance for reconciliation, participation and community building.

We are not seeking to generate commercial profits from the theatrical tour of Black Man Don’t Float?, but we do need to generate income of £500 per day while on tour to cover the production and administration costs of this project.

This fee includes actors’ wages, travel costs, accommodation, administration costs and contingencies.

We are open and flexible with regard to financial arrangements made with host venues and happy to work closely with partners to ensure the performance meets everyone’s needs.

We are happy for venues to set their own workshop fee for participants in order to offset the costs of the show.





Black Man Don't Float?


Black Man Don't Float? has been devised by performer Ayodele Scott and writer/performer Martin Hubbard.

Ayodele Scott:

Ayo is from Freetown, Sierra Leone, and began acting on the street.


He trained with the Sierra Leone National Dance Troupe, Kailondo and Tabula Theatre Companies, and won the Progress National Actor of the Year Award before coming to the UK as a performer, where he has lived and worked as musician, drummer, dancer, actor and workshop leader for the last 20 years. 

Ayo’s credits include Dancing with the Ancestors for Dance Theatre Kabudu (2002) Makbet (2004) Awooplay (2005) for TR2 Plymouth, God is Black (2006), Cross Cultural Sea Shanty (2007) Bristol and Exeter, Mami Wata and the Black Atlantic (2007) 

Ayo is also lead percussionist with the multicultural music group Baka Beyond.

For more information about Baka Beyond, click here

Black Man Don't Float?

has been developed 

with the following partners:

Helen Baggett – Director


Helen is a member of Gecko Theatre.


Gecko’s most recent physical theatre production, The Arab and the Jew won four stars from The Guardian, who described it as:

“illuminating the Arab-Israeli relationship as scorched fragments in a sometimes ravishing display of theatrical fireworks.”

David Oddie - Consultant.


David is the director of the ARROW Programme at The Desmond Tutu Centre at the College of St Mark and St John in Plymouth

The programme is a response to the events of September 11th 2001, the build up to war in Iraq and increasing racial tensions here in Britain, with the intention to foster the systematic development of the creative arts as a resource for reconciliation, cross-cultural understanding, peaceful reconciliation of conflict and the encouragement of a deeper understanding of the crucial principles of interdependence. 

The programme seeks to challenge negative myths and enhance the ability of people to identify key priorities for global development and peace. 

“ARROW… is exciting particularly as it is so apt for our time.” - Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Sameboat  Black Man Don't Float?
Sierra Leone FAQ Events in 2008
Video Gallery