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The Blacks: a Clown Show

ensemble theatre · orig-o-nal theatre company · Ages 15+ · United States of America

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June 18, 2015

My overall impression

Jean Genet’s THE BLACKS: a Clown Show is art at its finest. It is a show that will inspire conversation should you go with a friend and will stick with you for weeks afterward. Jean Genet’s THE BLACKS: a Clown Show will make you think. It is an absurd condensation of colonization in Africa that is both witty and sad. The performances are both artistically stylized and powerful. The actors jump right in with great energy. You can’t helped but to be dragged into the absurdity of the story.

The performance was very physical rather like a ballet. The dialogue was presented musically and over the top rather like an opera. A Shakespearean effect. A play within a play which struggles with truths and prejudices. Then end is likewise troubling with the blacks rising up and killing their oppressors.

This play raises questions which should be in the public conscience. It’s about stereotypes; self-identity -who we are verses who society expects us to be. It’s about oppressors and the oppressed (where are you in that equation?) It’s about how community fails the individual and how uncivilized society really is.

All the actors are to be commended on their performances as is the director Craig Gibson for a daring show.

Reviewed for Discover Hollywood by Suzanne Birrell

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