Skip to main content

Review of Flash Festival: Black Females Theatre - Black Hearts Black Truths at the NN Contemporary

Black Hearts Black Truths starring Melissa Madden is not the best Flash play I have seen this week. However it perhaps takes its subject matter and burrows deeper than any other. It also totally educates in its brief period something that personally was unknown.

It was never an issue to me growing up about people being different. While the understanding of racism existed, it never occurred to me that there was the prospect of being too black as a further form of this. This was an education and enlightening in the extreme.

While watching the only thing that came to me was how Michael Jackson's appearance changed over the years and whether this was in the same mindset as this. However because of this play it stirs things in the mind to find and learn more. That is the credit of such a show, to challenge the brain, to learn things you may never have experienced before.

Melissa through her play creates substantial real people, some likable, some repulsive, all clearly defined. The final scene with the bleach is an incredibly tough scene to watch having learnt so much in so little time it comes the more devastating.

While I did wonder about actually whether I was going to appreciate this play from the lack of understanding the subject matter, I came away from it educated in something I truly had no knowledge about in the first place.



*
As a separate comment, I would say that this was the least appealing of the four locations of the festival. Ignoring the fact that the staircase takes you to a place where the air is thin, there are issues with the room itself with chairs all on one level much is lost by the rows further back. The chairs also were not the most pleasant. Therefore it is not a venue that I would desire to visit again in too much of a hurry.


The Flash Festival 2015 runs between 18th-23rd May, 2015 at four venues across the town. Details can be found at http://ftfevents.wix.com/flashtheatre2015, while tickets can be booked via the Royal & Derngate. Details at: http://www.royalandderngate.co.uk/whatson/2015-2016/Other/FlashFestival15

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Review of Cilla - The Musical at Royal & Derngate (Derngate), Northampton

I have to start with a confession dear reader, what I know about Cilla Black can pretty much be written on the back of the Derngate ticket that I clutched on entering the theatre (and that allows for the advert on the back). I have heard a couple of her tunes of course (more than once) and confess, once again, that I generally didn't like what I heard. I think it's clear that with her natural raw form and voice, "a diamond in the rough" as Brian Epstein, her eventual manager describes her, she a performer that you either love or generally, not hate as such, but perhaps just dislike. I fall in the latter. Curiously as I a forty-year-old, I also don't even fall into the Cilla of hit television either, being a BBC viewing family, I never saw her on TV much when I was growing up.

So, coming almost totally fresh to the world of Cilla, it was a little comforting that for the first act, much of the world of Cilla - The Musical revolves not just around star building Cil…

Review of Woman In Mind by Masque Theatre at The Playhouse Theatre, Northampton

I like Alan Ayckbourn, I may only have seen a few of his vast array of plays previously, but all have been a delight, often crazy yes, but constantly funny, and especially in the second act spiralling often into just on the very edge of believable nonsense. With Woman In Mind, acknowledged by many as one of his finest works, my own personal jury is very much out on whether I liked it or not.
What was very good, mostly, however, were the performances, most especially the two that we are introduced to at the very beginning. The prostrate Susan (Nicola Osborne), with sinisterly lurking rake alongside her, and the bag struggling doctor, Bill (John Myhill).
Nicola Osborne has the unenviable task in this play of never leaving the stage, a feat in itself. Add to this the constant weaving of the character's world (more on this later), and you have a role featuring some significant challenge, one that Osborne ably surmounts. I once described Osborne as a "safe pair of hands" in …

Press launch of Sting's The Last Ship at Errol Flynn Filmhouse, Northampton

On Friday 16th February 2018, I attended the official press launch of The Last Ship. In attendance were the writer of the show, Sting, and cast members for the 2018 UK tour Richard Fleeshman, Charlie Hardwick and Joe McGann, with musical support from Rob Mathes.

During the event, opened entertainingly by producer Karl Sydow, Sting and the cast members performed seven of the songs from the show: The Last Ship (Sting), Dead Man's Boots (Sting and Fleeshman), Sail Away (Hardwick), The Night the Pugilist Learned to Dance (Fleeshman), What Say You Meg? (Fleeshman) and What Have You Got? (Sting and cast).

Each of these songs showed us a great background to the evocative tale that The Last Ship tells, of a community under attack as its crucial shipbuilding industry begins to fail. The performers and Sting himself delivered the songs with huge passion, despite, as Sting himself commented, the earnestness of the hour, with the event beginning at 10 am.

The Last Ship was initially inspired …