Skip to main content

Flash Festival 2017: A Matter Of Race by Zakiya Theatre Company at Hazelrigg House, Northampton

In this two-actor group and their play entitled A Matter of Race, Jessica Bichard and Karr Kennedy play two young girls who are in theirs and our eyes the same. Both find themselves travelling to England, one from Scotland, one from Africa, both finding themselves in the same interview, and both ending up at the same party. However, as each part of the story develops, we learn that life has its variants based on the colour of their skin.
Jessica Bichard

This is the first of a few message plays at this year's Flash and it tells its story with a lyrical and simple style, full of almost poetic prose and sometimes balletic movement. I also really liked the staging, with coloured rectangles gently delineating the two people.

Karr Kennedy
Jessica Bichard is once again superb, and ever since her brilliant turn as Juliet has been on my one to watch list. Her delivery and timing are crisp and clean (and she gets to use that perfect accent), and her work here forms a symbiotic connection with the equally impressive Karr Kennedy. This is a piece that has clearly been rehearsed within an inch of its life as the two actors move and speak as one and whip between each other's lines. It has a flow to it rarely bettered at Flash and one which tells well its story of the injustices of race, but without preaching. It almost allows you the viewer to almost notice the story it is telling rather that be told, which is the very best way to get such a message across.

A Matter of Race is effectively performed with style and delivers a message without being overpowering about it. I very much hope that their painted message very much becomes true.

Performance viewed: Monday 22nd May 2017

The Flash Festival 2017 runs between Monday 22nd and Saturday 27th May 2017 at three venues across the town. Tickets can be found at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/flash-theatre-festival-2017-tickets-34315017140, with details at https://www.facebook.com/FlashFest2017

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Review of The Last Ship at Royal & Derngate (Derngate), Northampton

When The Last Ship first launched as a musical on Broadway (adapted from a concept album by Sting), it was received with a mixture of reaction, most thoughts though of the negative nature, the critics especially found the whole thing far from shipshape. Here, having launched in its spiritual home of Newcastle, it arrives in very landlocked Northampton on a UK tour in a very different form. Characters have been dropped, songs have been reordered, storylines reworked, and original cast members are gone. So, whether the US audience would have been appreciative of this new The Last Ship is unknown, however, there is an incredible amount to like from this show and on Northampton opening night reactions, the audience here is liking what they see.

Gideon has returned, having taken to the seas 17 years before, leaving his girlfriend Meg behind and a strong and stable shipyard in operation. On his return, things are very different, not least for Meg, who is initially not keen on his return, f…

Review of Hamlet by the Royal Shakespeare Company at Royal & Derngate (Derngate), Northampton

I am personally all about making Shakespeare accessible, I take the Emma Rice line, that many were not keen on, that after a few hundred years, it's perhaps worthy of mixing it up a bit to make it more meaningful to a modern audience. I have a feeling the man himself would have no qualms about seeing his classic Hamlet transposed into a garish multi-coloured world, set in a much more hip place.
The Denmark that we see here and that is still referenced, is now very much an African country, and not just because of the heavy black actor casting, this is all about a style and a carnival feeling to many of the scenes. Music is provided by tribal-like drums, and characters stalk the scenes carrying handguns and rifles, bringing a modern feeling to the conflict as well. This is certainly not the "rotten state of Denmark" that most Shakespeare aficionados are familiar with.
Characters are changed drastically as we have more cocksure, swaggering, modern feeling to the individual…

Review of Madame Bovary by Masque Theatre at The Playhouse Theatre, Northampton

Rosanna Lowe's version of Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary was originally commissioned by Simon Godwin for the Northampton Royal Theatre, so it perhaps seems apt, that it returns to a stage of the same town, in this new wacky interpretation from Masque Theatre.

Masque's publicity for the show, describes it as a "madcap tragedy", and for those more familiar with Flaubert's novel you shall perhaps be a little surprised by the anarchic version created here. This is tragedy played for full-on slapstick effect, and while at times it might seem overwhelming in its intensity, the ride we are taken on is a delight.

Directed by Tamsyn Payne and Alex Rex and a team of talented creatives, Madame Bovary's props and design are every bit as important as the talented cast wielding them. For an amateur production, the attention to detail is nothing short of staggering. Gloriously created books filled with delights, puppet dogs and children, mini nuns, and little baskets…