Ooh Young Vic you’re so slick…

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.

Both London and Boudica were not calling for space helmets


Would you ever have imagined that the Globe would decide to have zip wires, abseiling soldiers and a(slightly shouted) rendition of The Clash’s ‘London Calling’? No. Me neither.

What a shame it was to have to sit through such a forced spectacle. At least I managed to; unlike 4 others who fainted (probably due to disbelief or boredom)!

Anyway enough negatives… Gina McKee played the powerful, strong and menacing Boudica. For those of you that do not know the story of Boudica, she was a Welsh/British Celtic Queen, with famous auburn hair, who led an uprising against the Roman Empire’s forces that where occupying England. This all took place in 50 AD something (so not too long ago!). What the play lacked to enlighten its audience with was the fact that Boudica, and her warriors, did in fact conquer the RomanNinth Legion and managed to destroy the capital of Roman Britain, then at Colchester. With all the rebel forces joined together, they went on to reclaim London and Verulamium (St Albans) albeit with many, many casualties amongst her troops.

Reflected in the play, it was clear to see that Boudica would never voluntarily become a prisoner of war, hence the poison that led to her death, and the representation of a goddess coming down a zip wire wearing a space helmet. I mean, I don’t know about you but it all makes perfect sense. Right?One issue the play highlighted was the cruelty experienced by her daughters. The Romans really were abusers towards them; raped by many of the soldiers and watching their mother whipped and bleed out was disturbingly accurate. To be honest, the only time I could really see genuine pain and true emotion was from this scene. The actors had been, in my opinion, completely miscast. Each actress was a talented individual, but were they threatening? No. Imagine a little French bulldog. Bit ugly and scary but actually so damn cute and cuddly. That’s how I can compare them.

The most exciting thing was to see that “The Weekend’s” hairstyle made an appearance! Repping the style was Abraham Popoola whom I must admit was very, very good. He was perfectly cast. An absolute giant who overpowered both physically and with his quality of acting. He of course stood out like a sore thumb. Misplaced amongst lots of shorties who weren’t threatening at all!

In terms of commenting on the overall show… I don’t really know where to start. It was messy, disorganised and “too-much too-soon”. I personally felt as though I had sat down, expecting the group of middle aged women behind me (with 4 bottles of wine between them) to be the only nuisance. Instead, it was the unintentional hyperbolic sighs, the loud music, the zip wires, and the female playing a male soldier that frustrated me. It turned in to a right laugh with the women behind me as we simply couldn’t understand the goddess in the space suit.

Scene It Tip 1) Explore the Globe’s other Theatre. The Sam Wanamaker has emerging new shows all in a candle lit environment.

Sadly… I don’t really have any advice other than not to watch it if you want authentic theatre.