Belfast’s Grand Opera House World Premier Of New Play The Trumpet and the King: Theatre Preview

By Conor O’Neill

Terra Nova Productions, the only theatre company dedicated to producing intercultural theatre in the island of Ireland, present the world premier of The King and the Trumpet at The Studio at the Grand Opera House on March 14th to the 15th followed by a full tour of Northern Ireland ending on April 1st.

The Trumpet and the King is the story of the boyhood friendship between Henry VIII (Sam Claridge) and John Blanke (Fejiro Emasiobi), Britain’s first named black musician. At the end of 1501, John Blanke, a young black musician of exceptional talent left the ancient city of Granada and made his way to the court of Henry VII of England. There he forged a surprising musical bond with the child who would become the infamous Henry VIII.

These two extraordinary young men scramble their way to adulthood full of feeling, often outrageously funny, as they try to figure out love, sex, politics and what it means to be a man.

The play is the imagined story of their relationship, rooted in historical research into the known facts and the historic period. The play moves between Limbo and the memories of John and Henry; shifting between an otherworldly place where the men meet as equals after 500 years and the murky world of their past. Their memories are emotionally charged, sometimes distorted, often contradictory, but also funny, heartfelt and poignant.

Andrea Montgomery from Terra Nova Productions said: “We are delighted to announce the world premier of The Trumpet and the King in our 15th year of intercultural theatre in Ireland. The play has been developed over three years with input from international artists and over 60 members of Terra Nova’s community. In the play Sam Claridge and Fejiro Emasiobi play a host of characters from Henry VII to Catherine of Aragon. The King and the Trumpet is funny, sexy, painful coming of age story written in a bold modern colloquial language. A rich, complicated black-white relationship is centre stage on Northern Ireland’s stages which is uniquely placed to incubate a work that looks into a world shaped by religious tension, the clash between power and art, Islam and Christianity.”

If this sounds right up your street, tickets won’t hang about forever.

To see The King and the Trumpet at The Studio Theatre in The Grand Opera House visit or simply ring the box office on 02890 241919

For details of the Northern Ireland tour visit:


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