Duck by Maatin & Shake the City by Millie Gaston. The Jermyn Street Theatre Footprints season to 30 July 2022. 4****. William Russell

Duck and Shake the City are part of the Footprints Festival Jermyn Street is holding until 30 July. Duck by Maatin is about cricket and racism. Ismail played by Gavi Singh Chera is a 15 year old school boy whose father has brought him up to be mad about cricket and sent him to a school where cricket reigns and he is about to become the youngest member of the team, something he frankly thinks is his right. But a new coach arrives who treats him quite differently and Ismail, know n to his schoolmates as Smilie on the somewhat specious grounds that they find Ismail difficult to pronounce, discovers his expected place in the team does not exists – he scores a duck twice and when an impressive catch he has made as a fielder is disallowed creates a fuss – Smilie becomes Smellie. But while the attitude in the school has its racist side so too does the way he behaves. His father is intent on becoming accepted in British society and his son, who is a British asian rather than an immigrant, is moulded by him to be more British than the British – Ismail makes an amazing discovery and that changes his fortunes. Gavi SinghChera is anything but 15 but he creates a wholly believable teenager facing up to a crisis in his live. Shake the City is a four hander about equal pay for women set in Leeds in 1970 when there was a strike at a clothing factory. The cast work hard and the battle is one that has not yet been won but one does at times feel a bit like being bashed over the head a little too much. However both are stimulating pieces of theatre.
Ismail: Gavi Singh Chera.
Director: Imy Wyatt Corner.
Lighting Designer: Catja Hamilton.
Sound Designer: Kayode Gomex.
Movement Director: Pheobe Hyder.

Shake the City
Margaret: Rachel Halliwell,
Lori: Stephane Hutchinson.
Wendy: Kitty Watson.
Heather: Emma Leah Golding.
Director: Amie Burns Walker.
Lighting Designer: Catja Hamilton.
Sound Designer: Hattie North.
Designer: Caitlin Mawhinney.
Movement Consultant: Phoebe Hyder

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