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Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Theatre Review: Black T-Shirt Collection at Northern Stage


Inua Ellams wrote and single-handedly illustrated the story of the "Black T-Collection" at Northern Stage, bringing a story of poor Nigerian lads coming up with a great idea, and all the consequences of fame, loyalty, prejudice and greed. He told the story, expressing the personalities of the entire family with ease. I did hear an audience member say it was like someone reading you a book. I disagree. Inua used the stage and the sparse props to bring the story to life. Two brothers flee from Nigeria as a journalist threatens to out muslim Muhammed as gay. His adopted Christian brother Matthew, bound to him by years of loyalty and protection against bullying from other muslim kids, sticks by him as he runs to Cairo taking the T-Shirt business with them.Sound effects, music and lighting helped take us around the world, to Cairo, London and, China for the gruesome conclusion in a sweat-shop T-Shirt factory. A brief hiccup in the light and sound slightly tripped up momentum just before the conclusion, but the story still had me in tears. I'm still a little amazed at Mr Ellam's ability to keep a monologue so alive, poetic, funny and engaging for the whole production. Its funny how we felt ourselves leaning forward in our seats as if a friend were talking to us in a pub. A great story, well told and enhanced by a great acting talent.


Coming soon to Northern Stage

Radikal Words 24/10*03/11 Zena Edwards uses music and movement to tell stories and provide a backdrop for her poetry. She doesn't like to be labelled, so I won't. Just expect some great stories, and more. And David Johnson presents witty stand up and poetry on the state of our society. £7.50

Spooky Cooking! 27/10-03/11 At Mackenna's ...kids over 4 can get cooking up some scary treats in the theatre restaurant. £5 each child.

Blue Boy 24/10-03/11 Why has a hooded youth taken up residence in Reagan's office in the early hours. He claims shelter, but is revenge his aim? Tense thriller. £14.50 or £12 for concessions. http://www.northernstage.co.uk/news-and-views/news/from-the-writer-of-blue-boy

Truce 2-3/11 Whilst following the Olympic torch relay on a 1948 double decker bus (!) Northern Stage collected stories from people all over the northeast, and then young artists, dancers and performers transformed them into a look at at how we really see the world. £5

Take advantage of Northern Stage's Multibuy deal. I've got quite a few tickets meaning I've saved loads of money on nights out over the next few months! Theatre doesn't have to be expensive...but expect a great evening.


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