All stories by JN Benjamin on BroadwayStars

Friday, November 15, 2019

Unknown Rivers review at Hampstead Theatre, London – ‘tender and hopeful’ by JN Benjamin

In West African mythology, Mami Wata is a water spirit that most commonly takes the form of half woman, half fish. She’s

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Little Baby Jesus review at Orange Tree Theatre, London – ‘a lyrical triptych’ by JN Benjamin

Three youngsters, all alike in identity, on the asphalt of the school playground where they lay their scene. Joanne, Kehinde and Rugrat

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Friday, October 18, 2019

For All the Women Who Thought They Were Mad review at Stoke Newington Town Hall – ‘a balm’ by JN Benjamin

To be a black woman in contemporary Britain is a lot. Our bodies are over-policed, exoticised and brutalised. Our minds are gaslighted

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Friday, September 27, 2019

The Seven Ages of Patience review at Kiln Theatre, London – ‘honesty, heart, humour and kindness’ by JN Benjamin

This is a story about a place called Brent. It’s a place of Turkish restaurants, African hairdressers and Jamaican takeaways. It’s a

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Thursday, September 26, 2019

Anansi The Spider review at Unicorn Theatre, London – ‘wonderfully imaginative’ by JN Benjamin

Anansi the Spider is perhaps the most famous character in Afro-Caribbean folklore. He’s loveable and wise, but he is also a mischief

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Monday, September 9, 2019

Chiaroscuro review at Bush Theatre, London – ‘a playful staging of Jackie Kay’s play’ by JN Benjamin

The word ‘chiaroscuro’ has a number of meanings; one of which is the quality of being veiled, or partly in shadow. Jackie

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Thursday, September 5, 2019

Two Trains Running review at Royal and Derngate, Northampton – ‘beautifully realised’ by JN Benjamin

August Wilson’s American Century Cycle is a collection of 10 plays each covering a different decade of the black American experience from

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Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Tobi Kyeremateng: ‘It feels like I’m the honorary diversity officer for an industry’ by JN Benjamin

The producer who launched the Black Ticket Project, an initiative providing free or discounted theatre tickets for young black people in London,

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Monday, August 12, 2019

This Is Black: Pyneapple/Teleportation at the Bunker, London – ‘full of raw talent’ by JN Benjamin

Black Women are the focus of the second of two double bills in Bunker Theatre’s inaugural This Is Black Festival: black women

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Thursday, July 25, 2019

Blues in the Night review at Kiln Theatre, London – ‘Sharon D Clarke dazzles’ by JN Benjamin

It’s Chicago in the late 1930s and the area known as Black Metropolis has been ravaged by the Great Depression – though

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Starved review at Hope Theatre, London – ‘richly written and strikingly designed” by JN Benjamin

Lad and Lass are on the run – from what, it’s never quite clear. They’re living in a smelly squat, fighting about

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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Strange Fruit review at Bush Theatre, London – ‘an assured and affecting revival’ by JN Benjamin

Errol Marshall wants to know himself. This overwhelming desire fuels a burning rage and consumes every fibre of his being. It’s literally

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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

One Night in Miami review at Nottingham Playhouse – ‘superb performances’ by JN Benjamin

If you don’t know your American Civil Rights history, the idea that Cassius Clay, Sam Cooke, Jim Brown and Malcolm X were

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Thursday, June 6, 2019

J’Ouvert review at Theatre503, London – ‘gorgeously authentic’ by JN Benjamin

The term “J’ouvert” comes from the French “jour ouvert” – literally, “day open” – a tradition that takes place at dawn at

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Thursday, May 23, 2019

Hoard review at Arcola Theatre, London – ‘a love letter to British Nigerians of the diaspora’ by JN Benjamin

Rafi, Ami and Bili are sisters. They’re independent women. They live their best lives. Their mother, Wura Bakare, is a hoarder. The

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Salt review at Royal Court Theatre – ‘beautiful, moving reprisal’ by JN Benjamin

The air is thick with the smell of incense. The Woman (Rochelle Rose) stands behind a wooden workbench. Directly above her head,

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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Glass Menagerie review at Watford Palace Theatre – ‘confusing reimagining of Tennessee Williams’ play’ by JN Benjamin

Tennessee Williams’ memory play, The Glass Menagerie, contains many autobiographical elements. Williams’ mother had a personality disorder and his sister was said

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Thursday, May 2, 2019

Small Island review at National Theatre, London – ‘wonderful performances, tone-deaf production’ by JN Benjamin

In 2009, the Guardian named Small Island one of the defining books of the decade. It tells the story of the arrival

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Wednesday, May 1, 2019

The Half God of Rainfall review at Kiln Theatre, London – ‘a sublime tribute to the African art of storytelling’ by JN Benjamin

Demi is half Nigerian mortal and half child of a Greek deity. The bastard child of Zeus, he grew up to possess

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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The Amber Trap review at Theatre503, London – ‘intriguing but underdeveloped’ by JN Benjamin

Young lovers Katie (Olivia Rose Smith) and Hope (Fanta Barrie) are about to celebrate their second anniversary. They still work in the

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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Mary’s Babies review at Jermyn Theatre, London – ‘a fascinating story’ by JN Benjamin

Maud Dromgoole’s new play is inspired by the fascinating true story of Dr Mary Barton, who in the 1930s established one of

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Friday, March 22, 2019

Emilia review at Vaudeville Theatre, London – ‘Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s play roars into the West End’ by JN Benjamin

When Clare Perkins delivered her rousing final monologue on the stage of Shakespeare’s Globe in the 2018 production of Emilia, her words

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Friday, March 8, 2019

Richard II review at Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, London – ‘comes alive with a renewed relevance’ by JN Benjamin

We all know that whoever says things, changes those things. So when Adjoa Andoh’s King Richard says “This is no month to

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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Inside Bitch review at Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, Royal Court, London – ‘gloriously disruptive’ by JN Benjamin

What do shows about women in prison in popular culture look like? Orange Is the New Black. Locked Up. Bad Girls, the

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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Noughts and Crosses review at Derby Theatre – ‘compelling staging of Malorie Blackman’s novel’ by JN Benjamin

Have you ever wondered what life would be like if black people ruled the world? If the status quo went topsy-turvy, and

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Monday, February 4, 2019

Good Dog review at Watford Palace Theatre – ‘superb play about inner-city life’ by JN Benjamin

Arinze Kene’s play Good Dog is a tale that will be familiar to working class inner-city dwellers across the UK. Kwaku Mills’

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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Approaching Empty review at Kiln Theatre, London – ‘strongly performed’ by JN Benjamin

They’re an unlikely pairing, Raf (Nicholas Khan) and Mansha (Kammy Darweish): one dresses his tall and lithe figure in sharp tailoring paired

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Friday, December 14, 2018

The Worst Witch review at Royal and Derngate, Northampton – ‘practically perfect’ by JN Benjamin

Before there was Hogwarts, there was Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches. It didn’t have an evil house – that would be silly.

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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Aladdin review at Broadway Theatre, Catford – ‘marvellous fun’ by JN Benjamin

Wayne Rollins’ Abanazar is a deliciously evil panto villain. In his quest for world domination, he learns of a wish-granting genie that

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Friday, December 7, 2018

Doctor Faustus review at Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, London – ‘classical with contemporary flair’ by JN Benjamin

Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus was one of the most frequently performed plays of its time. Though its popularity may have waned over

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

A Small Place review at the Gate Theatre, London – ‘interrogates the ugly legacy of colonialism’ by JN Benjamin

In a pitch black room, a woman clips an LED torch to the page and reads from Jamaica Kincaid’s 1988 novel A

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All that Chat

2019-2020 BROADWAY SEASON
Oct 06: Slave Play
Feb 01: The Minutes
TBA: Blue