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Bashment

Having just come away from the press night of Bashment at the Theatre Royal Stratford I can only say that I have just witnessed a powerful, amazing, thought provoking tear jerking, piece which I would urge you to see.

It certainly is a piece that is worth considering taking students too, see it your self first to judge. The themes of homophobia, desire to be black, Africans taking on Jamaican issues, class, commitment, disability all jostle for attention. Ricky Beadle-Blair who writes, directs and performs some of the music which he also composed, shows himself to be in total control of his medium. The set lighting and design by Giuseppe di lorio is startling in its simplicity reminding me of the bareness of the wooden O and the richness of the effect produced by the bare minimum. The levels of the play lead me to think I will be going down Stratford way again and I am grateful that the programme contains the script so I can savour the language and ponder the shifts. Theatre is at its best when we see characters change, learn on the life's journey, for quite awhile I was sure this was not going to happen, the road some of the characters strode seemed far too straight and brutal for a change of heart. The shift, when it comes is touching. The audience tonight was very vocal, lots of tutting and shock at some of the characters escapades. This is the second play I have seen there in the last couple of months that has challenged homophobia in the black community, High Heels and Parrot fish was moving piece with a lighter touch with a couple of jaw dropping moments. This has several emotional jolts, and encourages us to delve among a variety of issues. See it, it is not to be missed, it is a vital, brave, explorative play that will get many people thinking about many forms of prejudice and the vehicles which perpetuate them.

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