The Half God of Rainfall: Inua Ellams
Runs: 1h 20, no interval. B’ham Rep till 20 April 2019
Bham Rep BO: 0121 236 4455
Review: Rod Dungate, 8 April 2019
The Half God of Rainfall is a delicious example of story-telling. Based essentially on African gods, it quickly fuses in classical Greek gods and a host of others. The whole is then wrapped up within a tale of, of all things, basketball.
The story we are told is rich in invention, magic, mystery; it is also dramatic and at times, very funny. The whole sweep of the tale holds us enthralled.
Both performers, Rakie Ayola and Kwami Odoom inject great energy into the play, both achieve great variety and changes of tone. They have a warm working relationship and this affects us as we watch.
For a story-telling piece, though, I should have liked to have seen a greater relaxation from them, so that they could achieve a richer direct relationship with us. Occasionally clarity of diction fell; it would help if this could be addressed, as in Half God all the pictures are painted with words.
It remains, however, an unusual, a rich, and an a enriching story-telling event.
Rakie Ayola: Modupe
Kwami Odoom: Demi
Director: Nancy Medina
Designer: Max Johns
Lighting Designer: Jackie Shemesh
Sound Designer: Tamju Amarasuriya
Movement Director: Imogen Knight
Casting Director: Briony Barnett
Assistant Director: Breman Rajkumar
Dialect Coach: Joel Trill
Orisha Arts Specialist: Crispin Robinson
Basketball Consultant: Hesketh Benoit