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"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Friday, April 14, 2023

Black Superhero... "it's fine play, brilliantly acted, very funny and well worth 2 hours of anyone's time." @royalcourttheatre @royalcourt #BLACKSUPERHERO @dyllonburnside @RochendaSandall @AkoMitchell

Last night Stuart and I went to see black, queer comedy Black Superhero at the Royal Court theatre in London's glitzy Sloane Square.
Written by actor Danny Lee Wynter (this is their debut work) the plot concerns itself with a tight-knit group of black performers, some of whom are struggling to make a go of their careers while one has made it big. Very big.
Our hero, David (last night played by Lewis Brown), is one of the struggling ones. He is pretty angry all the time and has strong views on pretty much everything; race, representation, lifting-up, gay roles for gay actors, fidelity, fairness, food, booze, drugs, his friends, his sister - you name it. And he likes to argue. 
The one in the group who has made it big is King (Dyllón Burnside, yes, him off of Pose) who is the star of a successful superhero film franchise. King is also impossibly handsome. And everyone around him seems to be attracted to him. 
Including David. David loves King. Only King is married to Stevie (Ben Allen, an excellently satirised white liberal).
So, the play explores the black queer experience, racism, representation, self-identity, acting, open gay relationships, same-sex marriage, unrequited (and requited) love, and ultimately abuse within relationships - both romantic and familiar.
The on-stage debates are strong, robust, enlightening and energetic - and often very funny. The characters are mostly self-aware of their own situations. "Has fighting for the right to get married led the gay community to be more liberated or less", asks one character. 
The supporting cast includes Eloka Ivo, Ako Mitchell, and Rochenda Sandall - who are all excellent.
In the second act the reasons behind David's anger are revealed which is sad and strays into Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life territory.
That said, it's fine play, brilliantly acted, very funny and well worth 2 hours of anyone's time.  
The last play I saw at the Royal Court was Ryan Calais Cameron’s For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets Too Heavy. Another very funny, black play that has recently transferred to the West End. I only hope Black Superhero also gets a similar chance at a wider audience.

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