Review: Is God Is, Royal Court

Aleshea Harris’ vengeance-soaked Is God Is is a ferocious breath of fresh air at the Royal Court, with yet another memorable performance from Cecilia Noble

“She made us

Even as you count off the cultural reference points from Greek tragedy through McDonagh and Tarantino, Aleshea Harris’ Is God Is is a ferocious breath of fresh air at the Royal Court. As it falls in the honourable tradition of many a vengeance thriller, its unique take and razor-sharp perspective makes for a real theatrical surprise. 

Twins Racine and Anaia were both disfigured in a fire that they believe killed their mother 20 years ago but when a letter from She arrives, naming her husband, their father, as the culprit, a quest for revenge is initiated. And as they travel from Arkansas to California, their road movie becomes increasingly bloodsoaked.

Ola Ince’s marvellously vivid production revels in its postmodern touches, Chloe Lamford’s design perfectly in sync with this garish approach to the world. Captions and direct address sit alongside slo-mo sequences, genius staging choices (that wendy house!) and a soundtrack that epitomises the word eclectic.

Tamara Lawrance and Adelayo Adedayo are differntly but equally excellent as the twins on a mission and Cecilia Noble delivers another near-iconic performance as the righteously terrifying She. And as gonzo as it may seem, the play is rooted in a deep understanding of the cruelty meted out to women, black women at that, and how damned difficult it is to do anything about it.

Running time: 90 minutes (without interval)
Photos: Tristram Kenton
Is God Is is booking at the Royal Court until 23rd October

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