On the set of a new film about Victorian artist J.M.W. Turner, young actress Lou is haunted by an unresolved history. Meanwhile, in 1840, Londoners Lucy and Thomas try to come to terms with the meaning of freedom.
Moving between London past and present, Winsome Pinnock's astonishing play retells British history through the prism of the slave trade. Fusing fact with fiction, and the powerfully personal with the fiercely political, Rockets and Blue Lights asks who owns our past – and who has the right to tell its stories?
Winner of the 2018 Alfred Fagon Award, the play opened at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, in 2020, directed by Miranda Cromwell. It transferred to the National Theatre, London, in 2021.