News Release: Hamilton, Bermuda October 18, 2019 — Spaces are available for the final two open-air theatrical performances chronicling the story of enslaved Bermuda heroine Sally Bassett this month.
The free evening events, held on Front Street’s Cabinet Office lawn, are generating positive reviews from audiences since being launched as part of a new fall cultural calendar celebrating black heritage.
“It was an incredibly moving, thoughtful and inspiring account,” said Community Affairs Minister Lovitta Foggo.
“We value community partners like the Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA) who join with us in raising cultural awareness about our island. There’s still time for visitors and residents to attend these cultural events honouring Sally Bassett and other slavery-era figures. They are empowering activities, and I encourage as many people as possible to participate in the remaining event offerings.”
The last two scheduled performances take place today, Friday, October 18, and next Thursday, October 24. The Bermuda Tourism Authority, the Department of Community & Cultural Affairs and the Cabinet Office have worked collaboratively to sponsor four performances, which are free to the public.
“It’s an ambition of our National Tourism Plan to elevate Bermuda’s black heritage in the visitor experience and this performance, an excerpt from the Bermudian play Trial by Fire, is a compelling way to deliver on our cultural tourism objectives,” said the BTA’s Chief Experience Development Officer Glenn Jones. “The performances are stunning, the script is compelling, and, with the use of dance and fire, the direction is imaginative. Anyone passionate about Bermuda culture will be mesmerised by this evening of artistic expression.”
Enslaved housekeeper Sarah “Sally” Bassett was burned at the stake in 1730 and has become a symbol of resistance. She was implicated in a poison plot and accused of encouraging other enslaved people to poison their masters. Although Bassett maintained her innocence through a trial, she was convicted and publicly executed. Over the centuries, she became a symbol of black resilience, and a statue in her honour was erected a decade ago in the grounds of the Bermuda government’s Cabinet Office. This month’s performances commemorate the 10th anniversary of the statue’s unveiling.