Typical (4 stars)

This article is from 2019


credit: Jonny Birch

Compelling solo show depicting a true story of police brutality in London 

Richard Blackwood stars in this striking and unique solo, narrating a day in the life of a man who falls victim to racial violence and police brutality.

It begins with a light-hearted Saturday morning routine – Blackwood's unnamed character gets up late and has a boogie to the radio. But as the monologue progresses, instances of racial prejudice creep their way into mundane experiences. From these slice of life episodes, the script leads up to a violent conclusion.

Typical's innovative script makes Blackwood's character sympathetic and engaging, so the climax is all the more heart-wrenching. He is relatable, lovable, and the iambic rhythm of his speech evokes the intelligence of both writer and character. The soundtrack is slick and well designed, with the cheesy tunes in stark contrast to warped sound effects that enhance the violence of the attack against Blackwood's character.

As the narrative enters its darker stages, the stream of consciousness style does distract from the dramatic tension. However, Blackwood's effective performance draws audiences back in for the tragic conclusion, which packs an even stronger punch, with real footage from the event which inspired the script. This is a tough play to watch but gives deserved light to the racial injustice and systemic prejudice that should no longer be accepted as typical in the 21st century.

Pleasance Courtyard, until 25 Aug (not 13), 4.30pm, £10–12 (£9–£11).


  • 4 stars

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