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Review of Flash Festival 2019: The Nubian Sky at Looking Glass Theatre, Northampton

The Nubian Sky starring Shemelia Lewis was one of only two solo performances at this year's Flash Festival, and this exploration of what it is like to be a black woman now generally was a success, but in need of just a little more tightening up, and indeed exploration.

There are some strong moments here, from a youngster watching a quite remarkable cartoon from 1941 (Scrub Me Mama With A Boogie Beat), onto a schoolgirl in trouble for her hairstyle being distracting, and then the most bizarre TV show centring around whether a domestically abused housewife should get justice or not, we of course say yes, the show says no. It's a surreal and quite stunning collection of observations which are tough viewing of course.

Unfortunately, The Nubian Sky doesn't really take anything anywhere, there is, no exploration, it's just generally a basic collection of anecdotes of shocking occurrences, with no depth given.

Despite this, and most vitally though, Lewis is an excellent performer, making all the characters breathe differently. We quickly know who we should find endearing, and who we should be repulsed by, often just by initial and very clever body language.

It can at times get a little picky and bogged down with costume changes, all in view, which often spoils the flow of the piece, and because of the strength of Lewis' performance, are not really needed.

The Nubian Sky though is an interesting show, mostly because of its performer and her obvious dedication to the theme, it just needed a little more substance to actually become a great show.

Performance viewed: Friday 5th April 2019

The Flash Festival 2019 ran until Sunday 7th April 2019 at venues across the town.
Details here: 
Flash Festival 2019

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