Tuesday, June 19, 2018
An Octoroon - What a dynamite show! Poignant, moving, and very, very funny. #AnOctoroon @NationalTheatre
What a dynamite show. Taking Dion Boucicault's melodramatic slavery play The Octoroon as its source material Branden Jacobs-Jenkins play satirically explores identity, race, privilege, stereotypes, diversity, colour blind-casting, gender, liberal mindedness, fairness, and cruelty. It does this with a degree of urgency, a degree of self-knowing humour, and degree of theatricality that I'd not seen on stage for quite some time.
Performed in the round, the actors played in black-face, white-face and red-face; performed music, filled the stage with water, billowed smoke, and at one point set the whole stage on fire. Oh and there was a tap-dancing rabbit too. And all this with enough fourth-wall breaking to satisfy the most 'post' of post-modernists. It was a marvel. It was Brechtian. It was messy. But it was brave and new. Poignant, moving, and very, very funny.