Woke, Battersea Arts Centre

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by Laura Kressly

After graduating from City College of New York in the 1960s, Assata Shakur joined the Black Panther Party. In 2014, after enrolling at Washington University in St Louis weeks after unarmed teenager Michael Brown was killed by a white police officer in the same city, Ambrosia starts going to Black Lives Matter rallies. Moved by injustice decades apart, the two Black women are subjected to systemic racism and violence in their pursuit of freedom. Apphia Campbell performs them both, embodying their passion and anger through storytelling and song, in this lightning-strike of a show.

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The Glass Menagerie, Arcola Theatre

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By Laura Kressly

In 1930s St Louis, Missouri, housing laws ensured black people and white people lived in separate neighbourhoods. Racial inequality was rife and the city as a whole, like the rest of the US, was suffering the effects of the Great Depression. The Wingfield family are no different – living in a tenement apartment, Amanda and her grown children, Tom and Laura, struggle to make ends meet. Stress, worry and resentment drives wedges between them, creating a tension stoked by Tennessee William’s exquisite language. In this production directed by Femi Elufowoju Jr, the Wingfields are black, so their dreams and aspirations are all the more devastatingly unreachable when contexualised by the segregation of the day.

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White Pearl, Royal Court

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by Laura Kressly

Sometimes writing reviews is easy. Thoughts are fully-formed, and words that convey them easily flow onto the page. Sometimes, it’s the opposite. Writing about complex plays full of culturally sensitive material requires a lot of care and awareness, both of the critic’s position in the world, and their relationship with the content of the play. It’s a reflective, delicate process that isn’t and shouldn’t be easy for those in positions if privilege.

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Feature |The Whitewashing of La Mancha

Windmills in Consuegra.

by Tony Diaz

The English National Opera’s upcoming concert performance of Man of La Mancha, a musical inspired by the Spanish classic novel Don Quixote, takes place in Spain where, coincidentally, all of the characters are Spanish. However, this production seems to include no performers of Spanish or Latinx descent.

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Can I Touch Your Hair, Vault Festival

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by Romy Foster

Making my way into the theatre, I am so excited to see this show. The speakers on the incoming are blaring superwoman smash hits like Destiny’s Child’s ‘Say My Name’ and Jamelia’s ‘Superstar’ and I am pumped to see a full hour of female empowering, bossy woman, hell-raising quality content. Being International Women’s Day, I feel like this is the perfect show to see.

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A Lesson From Aloes, Finborough Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

Peter and Gladys pass their days tending potted plants and journaling. Life is quiet as they reflect on their lengthy pasts, stretching out behind them like toxic shadows. Neither are happy in their shabby, all-white suburb tense with apartheid-era legislation, but a visitor that evening may just be the thing they need.

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The Grand Expedition, a secret location

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by an anonymous guest critic

Gingerline have been making waves in the theatre-foodie experience crossover industry for a few years now. It starts off well: the set is incredible, the food interesting and absolutely delicious, the animation and use of projection astonishing, and the interactive nature of the experience is fun without being overly embarrassing for participants. The execution of this show succeeds brilliantly on so many levels.

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