What is it about the Young Vic delivering the best goods on the market? She’s just going from strength to strength. What better way to be truly introduced to the most arty hub in South London than brushing shoulders with none other than Idris Elba, or God, whichever you prefer.
As the season for Aline David’s electric choreography comes to a close, familiar faces have been seen in the Barber Shop Chronicles, a play depicting African barber shops and the significant position they play within a community, to The Brothers Size one which captivates audiences with a very intimate intensity its moving story of the bonds between men. The Brothers Size was a tale of two brothers and an estranged friend, Elegba, the occasional lover that the youngest brother, Oshoosi, met whilst in prison.
The Brothers Size tackles the issue of relationships between strong men. How can our preconceptions of prisoners change? Can Ogun, (Oshoosi’s older brother) move on with his life now his brother is out of prison? The play reminded us of how significant events in our lives can leave us trapped, still and in denial. Despite all these emotions portrayed by Ogun… Tarell Alvin McCraney allows us to seep into Ogun’s psychological sphere. He has eternal love for his brother and subtly longs for Oshoosi’s outlook on life. With twists, turns and a very ‘Brechtian’ approach. e.g. The characters announcing their entrances, exits and stage directions of how they are meant to be feeling. “Elegba enters, smiling”. This writing technique is the perfect way to maintain the concept of audience and play… therefore we are fully invested in the show but are reminded that this is indeed a story.
It really is something special when three, very talented individuals come together to create intimacy between three characters, the fable being told in an ‘all in the round’ setting. The music by Manuel Pinheiro was timed to perfection. As a great musician he created the atmosphere. From eery dreams to moments of joy Manuel stood tall. The cast were outstanding. With two Lamda students, (Anthony Welsh and Jonathan Ajayi) it’s great to see new fresh faces breaking into the industry and punching critics in the face! Jonathan was fantastically humorous, yet fragile, which entertained the audiences from night to night. I had the pleasure of meeting Anthony after the show and I can’t get over how composed and impressive he was; that and a very humbling personality (sometimes a luxury trait to find in this industry) was both refreshing and inspiring. Finally, the stage presence giant that is Sope Dirisu. As the eldest in the show, playing Ogun, Sope was flawless. His connection with Ogun was intriguing, from the physicality of his character’s journey from resentment to love, to the emotional outpouring we see two thirds in, Sope really did show us that Size does in fact matter. (too much?… okay, sorry).
These three actors are really ones to follow! Follow their journeys, expose yourself to new actors because it’s so exciting having opportunities to analyse different craftsman.
It amazes me how good theatre is becoming these days; how there is a great movement away from societies’ conventions and a drive towards the challenging of current social norms, fighting for rights and the strive towards happiness.
Scene it Tip 1) GO TO THE YOUNG VIC NOW. Book your tickets for The Inheritance with more juicy, manly men becoming fragile and sensitive all set in New York just post the AIDS crisis. You’ve got time to book… the show doesn’t start till March. Oh, it also has ‘Francis’ from Poldark! Who is in fact American and therefore will be even more amazing/true to self. Click for the link
Scene it Tip 2) Debate whether or not Idris Elba would make a good James Bond. (let me know your thoughts)
Scene it Tip 3) Make March a new month for new experiences, venture south of the river if you never have, talk to someone who inspires you… if anything it will only empower you to do great things. It eliminates the fear of failing when you know people who inspire you had to fail many a times to achieve their dreams.