It’s just Roo (Nicholle Cherrie) and Orion (Nathan Queeley-Dennis) now their parents have both passed. This brother and sister duo live amicably and in harmony together until Orion starts a relationship with Lois, a white girl (Beth Elliot).
This was not just about the obvious black couple love, but more black family, black self and black psyche.
Roo is a right on sister, proud and embracing of both her blackness and her womanhood. Her memories of the love her parents had for each other and their children are at the forefront of her existence and she celebrates it at every opportunity.
Orion is an aspiring actor who’s having a hard time getting decent roles – roles where he can just act and not be reduced to a tired stereotype. He meets Lois on a night out and they just click. He hides his new chick from Roo for as long as possible until the inevitable happens and they meet… and clash.
The musicality (composed by Ben and Ben Ringham) of this Chinonyerem Odimba’s (book and lyrics) production, Black Love, is top-notch. I was getting a definite ‘Jilly from Philly’ vibe from the spoken word offset with beats and the songs that if they haven’t been recorded, actually need to be. The voices of the two leading ladies are incredible and the setting of the newly refurbished Kiln Theatre is a lovely space for this play.
The recent #blacklove hashtags on social media made me expect something different. This musical was not just about the obvious black couple’s love, but more about a black family, black self and black psyche. Thoroughly enjoyable.