Review Stars
EntertainingThought-provokingStrong Performance
4.6Overall Score
Reader Rating 1 Vote
Captivating, entertaining and powerful – Les Blancs is a brilliant theatrical piece currently being performed at the National Theatre. Written by the late Lorraine Hansberry in 1930, Les Blancs is a play that transcends through time and reflects the underlying attitudes and behaviours that are still very apparent in today’s society. The leading actor, Danny Sapani puts on a dominant performance playing, Tshembe Matoseh – a man who has returned from England back to his birthplace in Africa for his father’s burial. His country (unnamed) is on the verge of revolution and a move to independence from white European rule.

 

Les Blancs (The Whites) puts under the microscope white supremacy and the ills of colonisation. It brilliantly depicts the elimination of one’s identity and the assimilation to the dominant culture. The minimalistic but creative style of the set and stage direction allowed us as the audience to vividly paint the setting and totally drew us into the performance of the cast. Director Yaël Farber does an excellent job in portraying the different perspectives of how each character engages with society and all its flaws – for example, the ‘liberal’ one who is aware of oppression, but oblivious to privileges it brings; the ‘rebel’, leading the frontline and prepared to lose one’s life for change; the traditionalist, the person in agreement of the dominant power and dismisses what was once one’s culture. For the curious mind, Les Blancs does leave one thinking of many questions. As I left the auditorium I overheard someone say – “Why do human beings behave so inhumanely? How was this behaviour been normalized to just a dark part of history?” 

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Les Blancs is playing at the National Theatre until the 2nd June 2016. Limited tickets are available, prices from £15 – £35. Visit https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/les-blancs/whats-on for more information.
Have you seen Les Blancs? What did you think?
 
Writer – @Kofi Dwaah

 

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