Giles Terera: Five Beautiful Things

15 Feb 2021

Giles Terera, star of Hamilton and Olivier-award winning actor, musician and writer has put together February’s edition of Five Beautiful Things, explaining why he thinks these pieces are important and worth your time:

1. Khadija Saye – In This Space We Breathe

“Khadija Saye was a truly extraordinary artist whose life was tragically cut short by the Grenfell Tower fire. Her work explores her Gambian British identity and has inspired me deeply. This film takes us closer to the richness and depth of her stunning work. It’s suspiring and moving and once again displays the beautiful range of talent that we have in this country. I love her artistry because it affirms the idea that in order to know where you are going, you have to know where you have been.”

2. Amanda Gorman – The Hill We Climb

“We all watched this moment, but it is worth re-watching and re-watching. It is worth studying and learning from. It is worth being inspired by and it is worth reaching for. As a piece of writing, I was blown away, and as a performance, I was moved beyond anything I’ve seen in many years. In this very disturbing period, that which is illuminating becomes even more important and necessary. The strength, focus and authenticity of this moment has such power that it speaks for itself.”

3. Bobby McFerrin – The Power of the Pentatonic

“Music has always been a huge part of my life. I sang before I really spoke. Language is very important to me but I am more and more interested in that which is beyond language. In the gaps between language. I love this short piece of film from the World Science Festival because Bobby demonstrates that which is universal. That which we all have access to, even if we are unaware of it. Also, singing together with strangers is perhaps one of the richest human experiences we can have.”

4. Sheku Kanneh-Mason on The One Show

“Sheku and his siblings are a very real inspiration to me. Black Excellence at its finest. I think the Kanneh-Masons are a perfect example of the extraordinary brilliance that human talent can be. This short piece allows us to get to know the family a little better and shows us just how far we can go allowed the right opportunities.”

5. Batty Boy

“I was called batty boy when I was younger. What I like about this brilliant short film is that is that it takes the difficult experience of embracing one’s sexuality and coming out and transforms it into something not only a beautiful piece of art but one which may be helpful and inspiring to others. We have far more accessible means now of taking our lived experience and using them to better society. I hope this film inspires others as much as it has me.”

About Giles Terera

Giles Terera MBE is an award-winning actor, musician and writer. A regular performer in the West End, he is best known for originating the role of Aaron Burr in the London production of the award-winning musical Hamilton, for which he won the 2018 Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical.

On 24 March, Giles will perform his own song cycle Black Matter, as a live-streamed production for one week, based on his thoughts about London communities uniting for social justice; capturing the joy, anger and love felt in those communities.

In 2018, he debuted his first play, The Meaning of Zong at Bristol Old Vic, a play about the notorious massacre aboard the slave ship Zong in 1781, and how uncovering its story galvanised the growing Abolition movement in the UK. On 21 March this year, The Meaning of Zong will be broadcast as a radio play on BBC R3, in a collaboration between Bristol Old Vic and Jonx Productions.  

Giles has been an Associate Artist at Bristol Old Vic since 2018.

About Five Beautiful Things

Over this Spring, Five Beautiful Things will shine a light on inspirational digital content that is free to access from artists working across the UK and beyond. Each monthly post will feature recommendations curated by a different Associate Artist at Bristol Old Vic.