Liverpool based Tayo Aluko, a celebrated playwright and performer, has crafted a poignant portrayal that sheds light on a pivotal figure in history. This production delves into the remarkable story of Tunji Sowande, the first Black head of Chambers. The one man play takes us through the challenges faced by Sowande, set against the backdrop of the British Empire’s struggle to maintain its colonial holdings.

‘Just an Ordinary Lawyer’ is a one-man show about Tunji Sowande, who left Nigeria in 1945 to pursue his passion for law and music. He swiftly rose to prominence as a highly respected barrister and earned the distinction of becoming Britain’s first (part-time) Black Judge.

Beyond the courtroom, Sowande was a dynamic solo concert performer, using his baritone voice to brighten the days of care home residents and raise funds for charitable causes. His love for sports, particularly cricket, led him to proudly join the prestigious Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), affectionately known as ‘the home of cricket’.

From his unique vantage point, Sowande reflects on Imperialism, Colonialism, and the struggles of Black people for freedom, justice, and human rights in Africa and the diaspora. His perspective is that of a man, above all else, aspired to be a skilled lawyer, revel in sports and spread love and peace through the medium of song.

This fascinating show depicts the struggles black lawyers faced in post-war Britain.

“Tayo Aluko’s tribute to Tunji Sowande mixes polictics, music and cricket for a tuneful portrait of a legal pioneer.”
– Michael Billington, The Guardian (4/5 Stars)

Event Date: Friday 20th October 2023

Categories: Black History Month

Contact Details: St George's Hall

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