Golden Theatre, New York
Reviewed by Jade Prince
Seen October 30th, 2019
When it comes to plays, I’m a very difficult audience member to ‘move’. I’m ginger. Soulless. Thinking back, there is only one play that comes to mind which captivated me and evoked some emotional response. But it did not leave me in my seat, unable to move until I could start to process some of what I just witnessed. There is a first for everything and Slave Play was that first for me. It’s played on my mind for hours, days, weeks.
I’m not even sure where to start of if I should post this.
Will my ramblings do the show justice?
It is one that you just have to see with your own eyes.
Jeremy O. Harris has created something which is revealing and brutally honest of the world we live in.
The play was totally not what I was expecting. Actually, I’m not 100% sure what I was expecting. I thought it would be a very serious, historical play about race and inequality. Silly me for assuming I could accept this show and title for face value. It was very much about those things but immediately threw you into the deep end and just when you thought you had the gist of it, Jeremy O. Harris threw in this mega curve ball which completely obliterates your current perception.
It’s a fascinating show where the discomfort it creates draws you further in. I felt uncomfortable but at the same time, I couldn’t snap out of the trance the show put me in. Audience members could approach it in two ways: either look away and attempt to ignore it (although the panels of mirrored glass made it impossible for you to do so) or you could run with it. Get into it and see the honest answers break free from the inter-racial couples in the therapy group.
I want to draw attention to the huge mirrors for a brief moment. They formed the back wall of the stage. What a genius idea! Having a show this ballsy and the audience facing this huge towering wall of mirrors was brilliant. There was absolutely nowhere to hide. You were constantly being watched, both by fellow audience members and the cast on stage regardless of where they were positioned. Yet, in a strange way, it provided an element of comfort because we were all in it together witnessing groundbreaking theatre.
In my honest opinion, which may ruffle some feathers, those who don’t like the show and take offence will be the ones which have just experienced a show that has come very close to the bone for them.
For me, this is an outstanding piece of theatre that opened my eyes further. It encouraged me to re-evaluate the world we live in.
The prime example of what great theatre should do.
(Public apology: This write up has not done the show ANY justice! This is just me rambling about, possibly, the very best piece of theatre I have seen.)
You’re all just going to have to take my word for it. Run to get tickets because this show isn’t around for long. It must close on January 19th 2020. Click here for more information of the show and to snap up tickets.