In two weeks a brand new musical will be hitting the London stage. Yarico, named after the protagonist, tells the story of a woman sold into slavery in Barbados the seventeenth century after being betrayed by a British merchant whose life she had saved.
The first record of Yarico’s story can be found in Richard Ligon’s book ‘True and Exact History Of The Island of Barbados’ and is dated 1657. The young woman’s story later inspired the operetta Yarico and Inkle, which is believed to have aided the abolitionist movement.
Model and TV personality Jodie Kidd is the producer of the new musical version of Yarico and it marks her debut as a theatre producer. Kidd and her father, John Kidd, have worked together to ensure that the play, which used to be performed each year at their Barbados home, reaches wider audiences.
Producer Jodie Kidd (left) with actress Liberty Buckland (right)
who will take the lead role
Acknowledging the historical significance of the story, Kidd said: “My heart is really in this. It is such a poignant love story […] but it is a lot more than that. It really is a story that, as it became popular, helped change the course of history.”
Mr Kidd has also spoken about the importance of making the story of Yarico available to modern audiences. “The story of Inkle and Yarico was so important in the 1700s to the way we viewed slavery. It was part of a whole shift in attitudes,” said the father of the producer.
Liberty Buckland, who trained at the Royal Academy of Music, will be making her professional debut in the play as the lead lady.
Yarico will run from 17 February to 14 March at London Theatre Workshop in Chelsea. (Press nights are 25 and 26 February). Tickets cost £18/22. For more information please visit: http://londontheatreworkshop.co.uk/yarico/