All stories by JN Benjamin on BroadwayStars

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Pass Over review at Kiln Theatre, London – ‘frustratingly under-interrogated’ by JN Benjamin

If you’re offended by the ‘N word,’ this UK premiere of Antoinette Nwandu’s 2017 play should be approached with extreme caution. In

SOURCE: The Stage Registration at 10:54AM
Monday, February 17, 2020

The High Table review at Bush Theatre, London – ‘places the beauty of black queer love centre stage’ by JN Benjamin

In 2014, former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan signed the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, a move that not only banned same sex

SOURCE: The Stage Registration at 06:35AM
Thursday, January 30, 2020

The Gift review at Theatre Royal Stratford East, London – ‘arduous attempt to challenge perceptions’ by JN Benjamin

Janice Okoh’s latest play tells the story of Sarah Forbes Bonetta, a black woman born a Yoruba princess in 19th-century Nigeria, who,

SOURCE: The Stage Registration at 12:27PM
Wednesday, January 15, 2020

The Girl With Glitter in Her Eye review at the Bunker, London – ‘promising, but underdeveloped’ by JN Benjamin

The B-Sides series at the Bunker is a programme of work by emerging artists that runs alongside their flagship shows. The Girl

SOURCE: The Stage Registration at 09:03AM
Monday, January 13, 2020

Scrounger review at Finborough Theatre, London – ‘full of quiet fury’ by JN Benjamin

Athena Stevens’ latest play is full of quiet fury. Stevens plays the title role in this piece, based on her own experiences,

SOURCE: The Stage Registration at 08:22AM
Thursday, December 5, 2019

Dick Whittington and His Cat review at Hackney Empire – ‘it’s everything you need right now’ by JN Benjamin

This year’s Hackney Empire panto – written and directed by local favourite Susie McKenna – is served with a twist. The 14th

SOURCE: The Stage Registration at 07:53AM
Friday, November 15, 2019

Unknown Rivers review at Hampstead Theatre, London – ‘tender and hopeful’ by JN Benjamin

In West African mythology, Mami Wata is a water spirit that most commonly takes the form of half woman, half fish. She’s

SOURCE: The Stage Registration at 12:39PM
Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Little Baby Jesus review at Orange Tree Theatre, London – ‘a lyrical triptych’ by JN Benjamin

Three youngsters, all alike in identity, on the asphalt of the school playground where they lay their scene. Joanne, Kehinde and Rugrat

SOURCE: The Stage Registration at 10:18AM
Friday, October 18, 2019

For All the Women Who Thought They Were Mad review at Stoke Newington Town Hall – ‘a balm’ by JN Benjamin

To be a black woman in contemporary Britain is a lot. Our bodies are over-policed, exoticised and brutalised. Our minds are gaslighted

SOURCE: The Stage Registration at 07:28AM
Friday, September 27, 2019

The Seven Ages of Patience review at Kiln Theatre, London – ‘honesty, heart, humour and kindness’ by JN Benjamin

This is a story about a place called Brent. It’s a place of Turkish restaurants, African hairdressers and Jamaican takeaways. It’s a

SOURCE: The Stage Registration at 08:34AM
Thursday, September 26, 2019

Anansi The Spider review at Unicorn Theatre, London – ‘wonderfully imaginative’ by JN Benjamin

Anansi the Spider is perhaps the most famous character in Afro-Caribbean folklore. He’s loveable and wise, but he is also a mischief

SOURCE: The Stage Registration at 08:20AM
Monday, September 9, 2019

Chiaroscuro review at Bush Theatre, London – ‘a playful staging of Jackie Kay’s play’ by JN Benjamin

The word ‘chiaroscuro’ has a number of meanings; one of which is the quality of being veiled, or partly in shadow. Jackie

SOURCE: The Stage Registration at 06:59AM
Thursday, September 5, 2019

Two Trains Running review at Royal and Derngate, Northampton – ‘beautifully realised’ by JN Benjamin

August Wilson’s American Century Cycle is a collection of 10 plays each covering a different decade of the black American experience from

SOURCE: The Stage Registration at 07:48AM
Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Tobi Kyeremateng: ‘It feels like I’m the honorary diversity officer for an industry’ by JN Benjamin

The producer who launched the Black Ticket Project, an initiative providing free or discounted theatre tickets for young black people in London,

SOURCE: The Stage Registration at 03:00AM
Monday, August 12, 2019

This Is Black: Pyneapple/Teleportation at the Bunker, London – ‘full of raw talent’ by JN Benjamin

Black Women are the focus of the second of two double bills in Bunker Theatre’s inaugural This Is Black Festival: black women

SOURCE: The Stage Registration at 06:22AM
Thursday, July 25, 2019

Blues in the Night review at Kiln Theatre, London – ‘Sharon D Clarke dazzles’ by JN Benjamin

It’s Chicago in the late 1930s and the area known as Black Metropolis has been ravaged by the Great Depression – though

SOURCE: The Stage Registration at 09:07AM
Friday, July 19, 2019

Starved review at Hope Theatre, London – ‘richly written and strikingly designed” by JN Benjamin

Lad and Lass are on the run – from what, it’s never quite clear. They’re living in a smelly squat, fighting about

SOURCE: The Stage Registration at 10:32AM
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

SOURCE: The Stage Registration at 07:56AM
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

SOURCE: The Stage Registration at 12:02PM
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

SOURCE: The Stage Registration at 10:17AM
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

SOURCE: The Stage Registration at 08:02AM
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,

SOURCE: The Stage Registration at 12:33PM
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

SOURCE: The Stage Registration at 09:24AM
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

SOURCE: The Stage Registration at 06:03AM
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

SOURCE: The Stage Registration at 11:25AM
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

SOURCE: The Stage Registration at 08:06AM
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

SOURCE: The Stage Registration at 02:05PM
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

SOURCE: The Stage Registration at 09:06AM
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

SOURCE: The Stage Registration at 10:54AM
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

SOURCE: The Stage Registration at 06:59PM
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

SOURCE: The Stage Registration at 07:38AM

All that Chat

May 30, 2023: Grey House - Lyceum Theatre
Jun 26, 2023: Just For Us - Hudson Theatre
Jul 24, 2023: The Cottage - Hayes Theater
Nov 16, 2023: Spamalot - St. James Theatre
Dec 18, 2023: Appropriate - Hayes Theater
Mar 07, 2024: Doubt - Todd Haimes Theatre
Apr 14, 2024: Lempicka - Longacre Theatre
Apr 17, 2024: The Wiz - Marquis Theatre
Apr 18, 2024: Suffs - Music Box Theatre
Apr 25, 2024: Mother Play - Hayes Theater
Jun 10, 2024: The Drama Desk Awards