by Kate Tempest.
Birmingham Repertory Theatre (The Door) Chamberlain Square Broad Street B1 3AH To 5 October 2013.
Mon-Sat 7.45 pm Mat 28 Sept 2.45 pm.
BSL Signed 2 Oct.
Runs 1hr 30min No interval.
TICKETS: 0121 236 4455.
Review: Jan Pick 21September.
Music sets us free…..
This is a brilliant piece of theatre. Inspired to some extent by the writer’s visit to HMP Holloway, it is set in a women’s prison and could have been very grim, but, despite not pulling its punches, it is a perceptive, and occasionally very funny, play.
The tragedy of ‘Chess’ is sensitively and movingly explored in a beautifully controlled performance by Amanda Wilkin, who is alive to every nuance of her character’s complex psychology. She is ably supported by Gbemisola Ikumelo as her prison cellmate, Serena, about to be released into a world she finds daunting, and frightened of moving forward without the one person she truly loves, and Martina Laird as Silver, the failed musician searching for meaning in life again.
The three women find their redemption through the music Chess creates as she herself moves into the light and finds freedom through self-expression in song.
The set is simple, an amplifier, microphones and computer to one side, two small cinema screens bisected by a central space delineated in white paint, representing the limits of the life Chess and Serena occupy in the prison. Much of the mood is conveyed by lighting and sound, the raw emotions of Chess shared with the audience through her voice as she sings about what is in her heart.
Poet, rapper and playwright, Kate Tempest has written a searing, witty and moving play well worth making the journey to see, if not at The Door, then as it tours the UK.
Serena: Gbemisola Ikumelo.
Silver: Martina Laird.
Chess: Amanda Wilkin.
Director: James Grieve.
Lighting: Simon Bond.
Sound: Clive Meldrum.
Music: Kate Tempest, Dan Carey, Kwake Bass, Tom Attwood, Amanda Wilkin.
Musical Arranger/Musical Director: Tom Attwood.
Movement: Georgina Lamb.
Associate director: Stef O’Driscoll.