Told through an intoxicating mix of song, live drumming, dance and the West African tradition of ‘griot’ storytelling, these disciplines are brilliantly interwoven making for a seamless, expressive and at times very real depiction of Prince’s experiences. Superbly written by Amantha Edmead whose flawless, all-encompassing portrayal as Prince is a masterclass in integrated performance, this is a hugely enlightening and powerful piece as we follow her life’s traumas, from her being sold as a young child as a ‘plaything’ for the grand-daughter of a wealthy Captain, through a catalogue of horrific stages on her journey as a slave and the steps she ultimately takes to overcome this. Alongside Edmead, Angie ’Amra’ Anderson is the ever-present African drummer - giving accompaniment, edge and ironic humour to the piece, whilst majestically seated centre- stage behind a large, metal frame from which hangs a thick-rope noose: a powerful symbolic backdrop.
Euton Daley’s direction and Lati Saka’s choreography are a visceral combination in making this a hugely exciting, unique production - with a hauntingly impactful set and lighting design created by Nomi Everall. With its repeated phrase of “to be free is very sweet” this is a reminder both of a history that must not be forgotten and many disturbing parallels that can be made now: both a vital contribution to Black British Theatre and well-deserving of the huge acclaim it has so far received. ‘Sold’ is, in short, a masterpiece that demands to be seen. Reviewer - Georgina Elliott
on - 20.10.21
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