Almeida Theatre Launches Second ‘Figures of Speech’ Series

The Almeida Theatre today launches the first instalment in their second ‘Figures of Speech’ series, a major digital film project that aims to examine the vitality of speech and rhetoric.

Cush Jumbo delivers Malcolm X’s 1965 speech ‘The Language of Violence’ – one of the last speeches given by Malcolm X, it came in response to a firebombing at his home the previous evening. Although Malcolm, his pregnant wife and their four daughters survived the attempt on their life, no one was charged with the crime.

One film will be released each week over the next month with Noma Dumezweni, John Heffernan, Derek Jacobi and Russell Tovey each performing significant speeches from philosophers, politicians and activists throughout history. With each film, Almeida Theatre invites audiences to examine the concept of leadership and the power contained within the spoken word.

The ‘Figures of Speech’ series will place the some of history’s greatest speeches centre stage, creating a bespoke anthology of films read by some of the most dynamic voices in contemporary media. Series one, which launched in May, featured featured speeches delivered by American politician Harvey Milk spoken by Ian McKellen, Nelson Mandela spoken by Lucian Msamati, Virginia Woolf spoken by Fiona Shaw, AIDS activist Elizabeth Glaser spoken by Nicola Walker and Labour Party Politician Neil Kinnock spoken by Ashley Walters.

‘Figures of Speech’ is conceived by Rupert Goold and directed by Anthony Almeida. Find out more about the new series here