WHITE (4 stars)

This article is from 2018


Meaning and poetry and music makes important work elegant

'Important' is probably becoming to contemporary theatre made by young people what 'brave' is to work made by theatre companies that explore disability; overused faint praise that avoids engaging with the content or dramaturgy of the work.

However, much millennial made theatre is important in showing both how people's lived experience can become a foundation for powerful theatre and questioning whether existing dramaturgies are capable of expressing these experiences and ideas.

WHITE has the hallmarks of millennial theatre: the love of poetry, the use of music and a personal and intimate performance style. Exploring the experience of being mixed race, and how that is determined by social expectations, WHITE is charming but tough and the reflections on how being caught between two identities is supported by Koko Brown's vocal skills.

Never self-indulgent, it challenges the idea that it is possible to make generalise statements but also recognises the limitations of two personal an angle. It refuses to provide simple solutions but rather dances between different perspectives, celebrates the cultural resurgence of black cultures and put forward and autobiographical series of vignettes. It has the dynamism of a gig without the thoughtlessness, and the intimate intensity of storytelling, sprinkled with well written poetry.

The story it tells is one not featured often within traditional theatre, and it operates as a clearing of the ground for further conversations. That it is performed with grace, style, weight, confidence, Thoughtfulness, passion and compassion makes the word important seem insufficient to address its ambitions and scope, even as Brown recognises how only a personal perspective can be honest.

Pleasance courtyard, until 27 Aug, 11.30am, £10 (£9)


  • 4 stars

Koko Brown A solo show about identity, being a mixed-race black woman and always feeling like an outsider. Blending live vocal looping and spoken word, WHITE carefully considers the concept of mixed-race privilege, tries to connect clashing cultures and explores what it means to grow up mixed race in contemporary Britain.