Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Rockets and Blue Lights @ Dorfman Theatre...
Directed by Miranda Cromwell, a radical retelling of the horrors of black British history, the play is packed with stories jumping as it does from the present day to the past and back again.
The present-day features actors rehearsing a film called The Ghost Ship about the Zong massacre of enslaved Africans in 1781. The past revolves around a family that has lived through slavery into abolition.
Back in the past again we see JMW Turner paint his The Slave Ship as well has a present meditation on that very painting - an atrocity hidden in plain sight.
There is an avalanche of plotlines, and ideas; detailed stories, and stories about stories. The slave trade, its abolition, debates on the politics of storytelling, the injustice of underrepresentation, Turner’s life, his politics, and remembering – or sometimes forgetting – black trauma in the present day.
It's a swirling haunting play made all the more important by the Black creatives who tell their own stories without deferring to a white gaze.
We loved it.