Saturday, 9 April 2016

Theatre: Clybourne Park......

This razor-sharp satire lifts the lid on race and real estate in a fictional Chicago neighbourhood.

The swinging sixties are just around the corner as a black family move into a suburban white enclave, triggering all too predictable mutterings from the neighbours. Fifty years on, we return to the same house in 2009 as gentrification sets in and the roles are reversed.

One skilful ensemble of actors play two sets of characters in a play hailed as ‘shockingly entertaining’ and ‘appallingly funny’.

Bruce Norris’s hilarious satire Clybourne Park took the West End by storm following a sold out run at the Royal Court Theatre in London.


Acclaimed by critics and audiences alike since its debut on Broadway in 2009, Clybourne Park has been awarded Best Play at the Olivier Awards, the Evening Standard Best Play Award, the South Bank Sky Arts Theatre Award and Critics’ Circle Best Play Award.


This was a brilliant play with an excellent cast of believable characters, who transformed after the interval into a new set of believable characters that all historically linked up with the first set.

I think it's a total testament to how we deal with diversity in 2016 that the commonplace prejudices of the time raised in this play seemed so shocking, dealing mostly with racism but also touching on mental health, deafness, class, bigotry, homosexuality, religion, slave trade and the stigma of suicide!

We certainly are not in an all inclusive tolerant society yet but well scripted and well performed plays like this promote conversation and show that at least we are moving in the right direction.

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