Coleridge Unbound – the poet as abolitionist, a dance and music project at Alfoxton

L R Deborah Baddoo Bawren Tavaziva Kay Crook Michael Joseph. c 2022 Richard Budd

Inspired by the Museum of Somerset’s exhibition ‘In Xanadu: Coleridge and the West Country’, State of Trust have delved deep into the history of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s life in Somerset, in particular his stance as an abolitionist. Being a lay preacher, Coleridge often spoke out against the transatlantic slave trade from the pulpit of the Unitarian Chapel in Taunton.

This project develops work done by State of Trust during lockdown in 2021, which resulted in the creation of 5 short dance films ( This year State of Trust is creating a new dance film with Somerset Film, and a site-specific performance entitled ‘Coleridge Unbound’, to take place on Saturday 3rd September at Alfoxton House near Bridgwater, where Coleridge was a frequent visitor to his friends William and Dorothy Wordsworth in 1798.

‘Coleridge Unbound’ celebrates Coleridge and the landscape of the Quantock Hills, and raises the ghosts of the past through original dance, film, and music performance. Bring a picnic and enjoy an enchanted evening under the stars in the spectacular grounds of Alfoxton Park. The performers are Deborah Baddoo, Bawren Tavaziva, Michael Joseph, and Kay Crook with music by Steve Marshall. The performance will be preceded by a sharing of new work by local young people attending State of Trust’s creative writing and movement workshops which focus on Coleridge and the Abolition.

Date: Saturday 3rd September
Time: 8pm - 9.30pm
Venue: Alfoxton Park, Holford, TA5 1SG.
Tickets: Free + donation. All proceeds towards the restoration of Alfoxton House.
Parking:  Available on site or in the lanes leading up to the house.

There will also be an improvised performance at the Unitarian Chapel in Taunton on 4th September at 2.30pm.

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