White Noise by Suzan-Lori Parks. The Bridge theatre, 3 Potters Field Park, London SE 1. 4 ****. William Russell

Caught up wth this remarkable, savage and disturbing play late in the run and sadly it was being performed to a rather disappointing house – but no a disappointed one. A biting satire on racial relations it hits home and left the audience taken aback with lots to discuss. Four thirty somethings, friend from university days, meet, discuss life and its problems. Leo is an artist suffering from insomnia, Misha runs an on line chat show called Ask Black, Ralph is a university lecturer facing up to the fact he is not going to get his due promotion, and Dawn is a lawyer worrying about defending someone she knows is guilty. Their lives implode when Leo, whose night wanderings are seen as being potentially for criminal intent is arrested ad mistreated by the police. This sends him into a long diatribe about racial relations and the black condition and to propose something extrordinary – that he become Ralph’s slave for 40 days. It is not a sexual proposition, just that if you are a slave you are safe, society knows how to treat you, knows you are in your place, not a threat. The other three go along with it but things do not work out well – or maybe for Leo they do. The curtain line is a surprise. The play is savage, thought provoking, a fine piece of satire and the cast rise to the challenges perfectly. Ralph runs a gun club and the sequences when they all go shooting sum up the complex, violent world they must live in. As for the presence in the creatives of an intimacy co-ordinator, well that too will take you aback when the time comes.

James Corrigan: Ralph.
Ken Nwosa: Leo.
Faith Omole: Misha.
Helena Wilson: Dawn.

Director: Polly Findlay.
Set Designer: Lizzie Clachan.
Costumes: Natalie Price.
Movement Director: Jade Hackett.
Lighting Designer: Jackie Shemesh.
Sound Designer: Donato Whorton
Intimacy Co-ordinator: David Thackeray.
Musical Director: Marc Tritschler.
Production photographs: Johan Persson.

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