BLACK SUPERHERO by Danny Lee Wynter. Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, Royal Court, Sloane Square, London to 29 April 2023. 4****. William Russell.

Funny, full of topical cultural references Danny Lee Wynter’s debut play is about David, a young actor who has auditioned for the role of Horatio and who finds himself falling in love with his friend King, the world famous star of a super hero film franchise. It is not a good idea. King, who has an open marriage to Steven, introduces David to his world where things go awry. The play is packed with good jokes, the performances are terrific – Danny Lee Wynter also plays David – and director Daniel Evans speeds his cast through some two hours plus perfectly. But some of the diction could be improved. Jokes were hitting some parts of the audience, not others at times. The art of hitting the back wall of the gallery and still sounding intimate is lacking in lots of actors these days and one or two certainly had failed to master it, which was a pity because as David embarked on his journey into degradation in the world in which superheroes live at times it was hard to tell just what was going on. But Dyllon Burnside as King is every inch the super hero descending cloaked and helmeted from the flies and Lee Wynter creates a deeply sympathetic David, who has been scarred by an abusive father, although he gets scant sympathy from his no nonsense sister played perfectly by Rochenda Sandall. As a play about queer love, open gay marriages and the price of worldwide fame BLACK SUPERHERO is not quite as innovative as it might have been but it gets a splendid staging, the set is very clever indeed – a series of triangles which glow in the dark – and one does watch Lee Wynter at the centre of it all even when quite what is going on is a mite obscure. Whatever else he loses David does get that job by the way.

Steven,/Sellapath/Interviewer: Ben Allen.

King/Craw: Dyllon Burnside.

Jackson/Twink: Dominic Holmes.

Raheem: Eloka Iwo.

David: Danny Lee Wynter.

Kweku: Ako Mitchell.

Syd/Zendaya: Rochenda Sandall.

Director: Daniel Evans.

Set Designer: Joanna Scotcher.

Costume Designer: kinnetia Isidore.

Lighting Designer: Ryan Day.

Sound Designer: Tingying Dong.

Movement Director: Gerrard Martin.

Intimacy Director: Yarit Dor,

Voice & Dialect Coach: Salvatore Sorce.

Production Photographs: Johan Persson.

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