All stories by JN Benjamin on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Strange Fruit review at Bush Theatre, London – ‘an assured and affecting revival’ by JN Benjamin

Errol Marshall wants to know himself. This overwhelming desire fuels a burning rage and consumes every fibre of his being. It’s literally

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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

One Night in Miami review at Nottingham Playhouse – ‘superb performances’ by JN Benjamin

If you don’t know your American Civil Rights history, the idea that Cassius Clay, Sam Cooke, Jim Brown and Malcolm X were

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Thursday, June 6, 2019

J’Ouvert review at Theatre503, London – ‘gorgeously authentic’ by JN Benjamin

The term “J’ouvert” comes from the French “jour ouvert” – literally, “day open” – a tradition that takes place at dawn at

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Thursday, May 23, 2019

Hoard review at Arcola Theatre, London – ‘a love letter to British Nigerians of the diaspora’ by JN Benjamin

Rafi, Ami and Bili are sisters. They’re independent women. They live their best lives. Their mother, Wura Bakare, is a hoarder. The

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Salt review at Royal Court Theatre – ‘beautiful, moving reprisal’ by JN Benjamin

The air is thick with the smell of incense. The Woman (Rochelle Rose) stands behind a wooden workbench. Directly above her head,

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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Glass Menagerie review at Watford Palace Theatre – ‘confusing reimagining of Tennessee Williams’ play’ by JN Benjamin

Tennessee Williams’ memory play, The Glass Menagerie, contains many autobiographical elements. Williams’ mother had a personality disorder and his sister was said

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Thursday, May 2, 2019

Small Island review at National Theatre, London – ‘wonderful performances, tone-deaf production’ by JN Benjamin

In 2009, the Guardian named Small Island one of the defining books of the decade. It tells the story of the arrival

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Wednesday, May 1, 2019

The Half God of Rainfall review at Kiln Theatre, London – ‘a sublime tribute to the African art of storytelling’ by JN Benjamin

Demi is half Nigerian mortal and half child of a Greek deity. The bastard child of Zeus, he grew up to possess

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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The Amber Trap review at Theatre503, London – ‘intriguing but underdeveloped’ by JN Benjamin

Young lovers Katie (Olivia Rose Smith) and Hope (Fanta Barrie) are about to celebrate their second anniversary. They still work in the

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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Mary’s Babies review at Jermyn Theatre, London – ‘a fascinating story’ by JN Benjamin

Maud Dromgoole’s new play is inspired by the fascinating true story of Dr Mary Barton, who in the 1930s established one of

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Friday, March 22, 2019

Emilia review at Vaudeville Theatre, London – ‘Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s play roars into the West End’ by JN Benjamin

When Clare Perkins delivered her rousing final monologue on the stage of Shakespeare’s Globe in the 2018 production of Emilia, her words

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Friday, March 8, 2019

Richard II review at Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, London – ‘comes alive with a renewed relevance’ by JN Benjamin

We all know that whoever says things, changes those things. So when Adjoa Andoh’s King Richard says “This is no month to

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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Inside Bitch review at Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, Royal Court, London – ‘gloriously disruptive’ by JN Benjamin

What do shows about women in prison in popular culture look like? Orange Is the New Black. Locked Up. Bad Girls, the

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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Noughts and Crosses review at Derby Theatre – ‘compelling staging of Malorie Blackman’s novel’ by JN Benjamin

Have you ever wondered what life would be like if black people ruled the world? If the status quo went topsy-turvy, and

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Monday, February 4, 2019

Good Dog review at Watford Palace Theatre – ‘superb play about inner-city life’ by JN Benjamin

Arinze Kene’s play Good Dog is a tale that will be familiar to working class inner-city dwellers across the UK. Kwaku Mills’

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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Approaching Empty review at Kiln Theatre, London – ‘strongly performed’ by JN Benjamin

They’re an unlikely pairing, Raf (Nicholas Khan) and Mansha (Kammy Darweish): one dresses his tall and lithe figure in sharp tailoring paired

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Friday, December 14, 2018

The Worst Witch review at Royal and Derngate, Northampton – ‘practically perfect’ by JN Benjamin

Before there was Hogwarts, there was Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches. It didn’t have an evil house – that would be silly.

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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Aladdin review at Broadway Theatre, Catford – ‘marvellous fun’ by JN Benjamin

Wayne Rollins’ Abanazar is a deliciously evil panto villain. In his quest for world domination, he learns of a wish-granting genie that

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Friday, December 7, 2018

Doctor Faustus review at Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, London – ‘classical with contemporary flair’ by JN Benjamin

Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus was one of the most frequently performed plays of its time. Though its popularity may have waned over

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

A Small Place review at the Gate Theatre, London – ‘interrogates the ugly legacy of colonialism’ by JN Benjamin

In a pitch black room, a woman clips an LED torch to the page and reads from Jamaica Kincaid’s 1988 novel A

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Friday, November 9, 2018

The Hoes review at Hampstead Downstairs, London – ‘ferociously funny’ by JN Benjamin

Bim, Alex and J are best friends. They’re 25-years-old and they’ve known each other since secondary school. Their closeness shows – they

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Monday, November 5, 2018

Sweet Like Chocolate Boy review at Jack Studio Theatre, London – ‘nostalgia-fuelled adventure’ by JN Benjamin

If you did your raving in the 1990s, you’ll know that Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu’s latest play takes its name from the certified banger

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Friday, October 19, 2018

Pot review at Ovalhouse, London – ‘resonant writing’ by JN Benjamin

Ambreen Razia’s latest play, Pot, investigates the world of inner-city gang culture from a point of view that we don’t usually see:

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Monday, October 8, 2018

Bullet Hole review at Park Theatre, London – ‘striking new writing’ by JN Benjamin

Cleo, Eve and Aunty Winnie live together in London. They are all survivors of female genital mutilation – it is their wounds

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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Poet in da Corner review at Royal Court, London – ‘high-octane, game-changing’ by JN Benjamin

For Debris Stevenson, grime was the pathway to salvation. Her Royal Court debut Poet in da Corner is a semi-autobiographical account of

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The Other Place review at Park Theatre, London – ‘a compelling play about dementia’ by JN Benjamin

In Sharr White’s The Other Place, Juliana Smithton (Karen Archer) tells the story of her life: she loves spending time with her

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Friday, September 14, 2018

Women in Power review at NST City, Southampton – ‘silly, funny and clever’ by JN Benjamin

The women of Athens are sick of watching incompetent men run their lives, so they hatch a plan. Under the cloak of

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Thursday, August 16, 2018

Emilia review at Shakespeare’s Globe, London – ‘the essence of a woman too long forgotten by the books of history’ by JN Benjamin

Emilia Bassano Lanier was one hell of a woman. Born in 1569, she was one of the first Englishwomen to publish an

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Friday, August 10, 2018

Aristocrats review at the Donmar Warehouse, London – ‘sleepy production of Brian Friel’s play’ by JN Benjamin

In Brian Friel’s 1979 play Aristocrats, Ballybeg Hall is a large and decaying house that sits on top of a hill in

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Friday, July 6, 2018

SS Mendi: Dancing the Death Drill review at NST City, Southampton – ‘an otherworldly requiem’ by JN Benjamin

Based on a book by Fred Khumalo and adapted for the stage by South African theatre company Isango Ensemble and playwright Gbolahan

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Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Jungle review at Playhouse Theatre, London – ‘atmospheric, stirring and profound’ by JN Benjamin

The Jungle starts with an ending. Another eviction notice has been served in the Calais Refugee camp and the news has sent

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