Doris Allimadi

"Empress Taytu Betul - A Play"

Venue: South Street (Directions)

Fri 1 Mar, 19:00


1st March 2019, will mark 122 years since the battle of Adwa in 1896.

‘Empress Taytu Betul’ is a play about a no nonsense, badass Ethiopian Empress who convinced her husband, Emperor Menelik 11, to go to war with Italy over the disputed article 17 within the Wuchale Treaty signed by Ethiopia and Italy to strengthen the friendship and economic ties between their respective countries.  It was later discovered that there were two versions of the Treaty, and the wording in the Italian version of the Treaty sought to make Ethiopia a protectorate.

Taytu Betul: Imbi. … “then we will go to war.  You will give the order for Ethiopia to go to war with Italy”.

Emperor Menelik: But they have far more weapons that are far more superior than ours.

Taytu Betul: “And we have far more men and women who will lay down their lives to protect the sovereignty of our great nation.”

General Albertone: “You will go to war with a European power?  This is unheard of, this is comical, and you think you can win?”

Taytu Betul: “Laugh now, General, but you will not be laughing when I personally drag you through the streets of Addis Ababa as a prisoner of war.  We will bring Italy to its knees.”

In the Spring of 1896, Ethiopia dealt Italy a surprising and decisive defeat at the Battle of Adwa.  It was the first such defeat of a European power by an African nation.  Ethiopia is only one of two African countries never to have been colonised.

Ticket information


Venue info

South Street

21 South Street, Reading, RG1 4QU

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Contact: Box Office: 0118 960 6060; Administration: 0118 937 3456

Box office is open at South Street Arts Centre on performance days one hour before the show (subject to availability)

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