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Posts Tagged ‘Taio Lawson’

I was expecting three separate plays set in the local area, but it’s three stories that flow organically from one to the other, representing three waves of immigration and three sets of newcomers to the area. Irish, West Indian and Ugandan Asian, all blending, making friends and relationships between their cultures. It’s a deeply satisfying, heart-warming experience.

We start with Moira Buffini’s story of two Irish cleaners in a dancehall, one here long enough to have a West Indian husband and teenage child, the other newly arrived, naïve and vulnerable. In Roy Williams’ Life of Riley we meet a mixed race girl, brought up by her single mother, seeking to reconnect with her father, once a renowned reggae musician, stalwart of Trojan Records, herself an aspiring singer.

Finally, in the late 70’s, when punk rules the (air)waves, Suhayla El_bushra introduces us to another newly arrived family, this time Ugandan Asians whose teenage daughter’s best friend is Irish. Anjali (beautifully played by Natasha Jayetileke) works at Grunwick and is forced to break the strike as hers is the only wage after her proud husband’s unexpected redundancy.

We see the cultures they carry with them, or seek to lose – Aoife’s strict Catholicism, Riley’s independent spirit and Deepak’s masculine pride – as we see them become Londoners. The direction, by Susie McKenna and Taio Lawson, serves the stories well, It seems to me to be very timely. A lovely evening.

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