Drayton Arms Theatre
Reviewed – 22nd November 2018
“an incredibly promising production, entertaining and topical, that just requires some streamlining to fulfil its potential”
Devin (played by Hassan Govia who also wrote the piece) has just moved into his new apartment. There’s Veuve Clicquot to greet his four friends, as they arrive one by one. Everyone has to put slippers on and there’s no smoking indoors. But Devin’s newfound wealth hasn’t just upgraded his postcode, and the play examines the impact of money on personal relationships, romantic, familial and platonic.
It is a play that deals with race, class and money whilst still making its audience laugh. The news is also touched upon, regarding what it is and what it should be. Even Brexit is mentioned. It is certainly a play situated very much within our contemporary political and social context, without coming across as heavy handed or didactic.
Unshaded Arts is a theatre company who work to put on new plays that centre marginalised voices, co-founded by Cristal Cole, Hassan Govia and Chiedza Rwodzi. This is their first production as a company and it is a really strong start. The actors are consistently convincing across the board. Cristal Cole as Giselle, Devin’s sister, is a welcome late addition to the cast, arriving with an infectious pace and energy. Maria Yarjah as Joslyn and Natali Servat as Dahlia are equally strong and each cast member brings something different to the stage. There is something lacking in their overall coming together, but this is surely something that will tighten up over the course of the run.
Hassan Govia’s writing is engaging and nuanced and shows clear skill. Boujie does go on a little too long for a one act piece, and there are moments that feel unnecessary and border on the repetitive. However this is still an undeniably successful piece of writing that simply requires some editing. The intermediary musical moments do not work. The music is too quiet and the energy drops in these moments.
This is an incredibly promising production, entertaining and topical, that just requires some streamlining to fulfil its potential.
Reviewed by Amelia Brown
Photography by Alessa Davidson
Drayton Arms Theatre until 8th December
Previously reviewed at this venue: