Love Thy Fro by Casey Elisha – review

Theatre Peckham
Review by: Ronke Lawal
Published: Tuesday, 29th October 2019, 1:46am
afridiziak ratings

Love Thy Fro is a musical stage adaptation of Casey Elisha’s debut children’s book of the same title.  

After many failed attempts to try and “tame” her natural afro hair, Kemi goes on an unexpected journey with her little sister Lola to the 1970s where she meets a familiar face and discovers there is something deeply special about taking pride in her big, beautiful afro hair.  The question is – will she get it right in time for photo day?

Throughout the course of this adorable stage show, we get a glimpse into the real life challenges and experiences of Kemi as she is becoming more self conscious and aware of her appearance and her hair. Starting with her family life we see how she engages with her mother, who takes care of her hair in the standard African Caribbean approach, necessity over comfort.

I liked the fact that the production explored the relationship between the matriarch and patriarch of the home, whilst Kemi’s mum obviously loved her natural hair the burden of household labour meant that she didn’t have the time and perhaps the mental capacity to uplift or reinforce the positive aspects in the same way that her dad did. The family dynamic was really well written, both entertaining and realistic.

The play covers key areas of Kemi’s life from her home to school in a fluid and immersive way, the audience participation aspect was a particular highlight. 

The musical arrangements and choreography were perfectly timed and the cast is highly talented. 

Certain elements of the script were on the nose and seemed quite obvious but the show is for adults as much as it is for children. I took my 10 year old niece and asked her to rate the play and she gave it 5/5 and kept unpacking what she learnt and enjoyed from the show. It’s a positive and charming production that is for all the family to enjoy. 

Bravo to the writers and production team for creating such an important and relevant piece of work.

NEED TO KNOW: Love Thy Fro was at Theatre Peckham from 17-26 Oct 2019 See listing