Writing theatre reviews is never a more challenging task than when you have to try and articulate your feeling concisely, persuasively and professionally, when all you want to do is scream at the top of your lungs:
“For God’s sake, just go and see this play!!”
I adore that sensation of exiting a theatre having been completely blown away by a production. I am left in a haze of elation, tingling with creative electricity, thoughts and emotions. It’s all I can do to stop myself rushing up to strangers in the street, frogmarching them to the Box Office and forcing them to buy a ticket.
This happens a lot when I leave Nuffield Southampton Theatres; a testament to the astounding quality of their productions. Their latest offering is no exception.
SS Mendi: Dancing the Death Drill is, until now, an untold story brought to life on stage through a rich feast of theatre and music. This production is something else.
Dubbed ‘the black titanic’, it is a terrible, heartbreaking tale that also addresses issues of race, class, and colonialism, as well as The Great War, upon the latter’s centenary.
This production is showing until Saturday 14th July; if you are in Southampton over the week, I completely urge you to go and see this show. It’s an education, a joy, and a powerful experience.
I’ve written a full review over on Broadwayworld.com, and it’s now live for you to read. Here’s a snippet to get you started:
“The stories of the 823 South African men who boarded the SS Mendi, and the 600 who perished, are finally being told through a rich and emotional production which ensures that their legacy and sacrifice did not go down with the ship.”
(If you missed my announcement, I’m now a contributing writer for the site – exciting!)
Please, please don’t miss SS Mendi; and if you see it, let me know what you think!
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I was invited to review this performance, but as always all views are honest and completely my own.
Photo credit: The Other Richard