Review: Under the Mask, Theatre Peckham

Playing at Theatre Peckham before a UK tour, Tamasha Theatre’s Under the Mask – written by a junior doctor – is a haunting revisit of the early days of the pandemic

“I’m telling you now I don’t feel safe”

Given that you can’t help but expect that there’s going to be a whole lotta COVID plays coming along soon, there’s a balancing act to be made about the approach to a global pandemic that is still very much a clear and present danger. Under the Mask takes the route of almost documentary realism as junior doctor and new writer Shaan Sahota very much writes what she knows.

A Tamasha and Oxford Playhouse co-production, opening its UK tour at Theatre Peckham, Under the Mask invites audiences to an audio experience, taking us back to the beginning of the first wave of the Coronavirus pandemic in the UK. Viewed through the scarcely believing eyes of newly qualified doctor Jaskaran who is fast-tracked onto the Intensive Care Unit, it’s a haunting tale of lived experience. Continue reading “Review: Under the Mask, Theatre Peckham”

Nominations for the 2020 Black British Theatre Awards

BEST DIRECTOR AWARD FOR A PLAY OR MUSICAL
Clint Dyer, Death of England, National Theatre
Nadia Latif, Fairview, Young Vic Theatre
Ola Ince, Appropriate, Donmar Warehouse
Roy Alexander Weise, Master Harold &… and the boys, National Theatre

BEST PRODUCER AWARD
Adrian Grant, Thriller Live, Lyric Theatre
Nicole Raquel Dennis and Ryan Carter, Turn Up, Cadogan Hall
Tobi Kyeremateng, My White Best Friend (and Other Letters Left Unsaid), Royal Court
Theatre Continue reading “Nominations for the 2020 Black British Theatre Awards”

Review: Poet in da Corner, Royal Court

I correct the error of missing the vibrant energy of Debris Stevenson’s Poet in da Corner at the Royal Court

“You writing lyrics about me?”

Debris Stevenson is a multi-hyphenate of a different order – grime poet, academic, dancer and now playwright as her 2018 hit show Poet in da Corner returns to the Royal Court ahead of a UK tour. I didn’t catch it then, not having ever listened to Dizzee Rascal’s album Boy in da Corner meaning that it didn’t have instant appeal but on this evidence, I was clearly wrong to have given it a miss, its vibrant energy thrilling to behold in this richly theatrical space.

Sitting in the realm of semi-autobiography, Stevenson’s story focuses on her East London upbringing in a Mormon household where schooltime meant working through being bullied, her dyslexia and the need to test her sexuality. At a moment of particular despair, she’s given a copy that Dizzee Rascal album and it is like a light is switched on, grime offering her a way to build her confidence and explore all of those feelings, discover who she really is. Continue reading “Review: Poet in da Corner, Royal Court”