Freeman – A return of the award winning hit show from 2018 which is on an International Tour from 14th May until 28th June 2019

Strictly Arts Theatre, in association with the Belgrade Theatre and The Pleasance, present:


“Freeman is a revelation, a piece of stunning physical theatre” Guardian ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A return of the award winning hit show from 2018 which is on an International Tour from 14th May until 28th June 2019.

Fresh off its sold out debut run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Strictly Arts will embark on a new International Tour with their award winning show, Freeman; a collaboration with writer Camilla Whitehill (Where Do Little Birds Go? / Mr Incredible) and in association with the Belgrade Theatre and the Pleasance. This is the first time Strictly Arts has performed outside of the UK.

Inspired by the first American to plead insanity as his defence, award-winning writer Camilla Whitehill and Strictly Arts examine the unspoken link between mental health and systemic racism.

Throughout time and across waters, they thread together the stories of Freeman, David Oluwale, Sarah Reed, Sandra Bland, Daniel M’naghten and Michael Bailey to show how these factors combine in the US and here in the UK. The controversial lives and deaths of these real life protagonists also highlight why it is necessary for movements like Black Lives Matter to exist in the 21st Century.

When Strictly Arts began making Freeman in 2016, there were 120 self-inflicted deaths recorded in prisons across the UK – the highest number on record.  The company began looking at the parallels between today’s society and past incidents.  Government statistics in 2017 showed that there were 31,350 people in prison who, at any one time in the UK, had reported having poor mental health issues – 37% of the average monthly prison population.  Yet, only 7,900 prisoners were recorded by NHS England as having received treatment for mental health illness during March 2017.

Artistic Director of Strictly Arts, Corey Campbell, comments As an individual who has been a victim of racial profiling, wrongfully accused by the justice system, with friends and family who have suffered from poor mental health, and as a member of the black community myself, the statistics and information we found are both relevant and frightening.  To think that William Freeman’s story from as far back as the 1800s can still be an example to us today shows that we are still in dangerous waters.

Freeman features a mix of high-energy physical theatre, gospel singing, shadow puppetry and powerful drama to create an extraordinarily moving and affecting experience.

History is bound to repeat itself when the thumb is permanently bearing down on the loop button, so has anything really changed?

Previous Reviews For Freeman

“Freeman is a revelation, a piece of stunning physical theatre” Guardian ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Outstanding artistic courage” Broadway Baby ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“a production of sheer class and talent” The Wee Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Both exciting and devastating…everybody should see it” Edinburgh Guide ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Awards for Freeman

Winner – The Spirit of The Fringe Award – The Mervs 2018

Winner – Special Commendation Award – SIT UP Awards

Shortlisted – Freedom of Expression Award – Amnesty International

Shortlisted – Best Ensemble Award – The Off West End Theatre Awards (Offies)

Shortlisted – Best Director Award for Daniele Sanderson – The Off West End Theatre Awards (Offies)

The trailer for the show can be found here:

2019 Tour Dates

Carriageworks Theatre                                                  Leeds                                                    14 – 15 May

Theatre Deli                                                                     Sheffield                                              16 – 18 May

Bristol Old Vic                                                                 Bristol                                                   23 – 25 May

Streatham Space Project                                               London                                                 28 May – 02 June

Physical Theater Festival                                              Chicago, USA                                      06 – 08 June

Library Theatre                                                               Luton                                                    19 – 20 June

Lawrence Batley Theatre                                              Huddersfield                                        21 June

As part of the Incoming Festival:

Home                                                                                  Manchester                                       24 June

New Diorama                                                                    London                                               28 June

Just Added:

Teatro Británico                                                               Lima, Peru                                           26 – 28 Aug

Tickets are already on sale at

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England

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