Queens of Sheba – review

“To make space for Black women to shed tears in a world that doesn’t always honour our tears was powerful and appreciated."
Soho Theatre
afridiziak ratings
Ronke Lawal @ronkelawal
Published: Friday 11th February 2022, 3:34pm

Queens of Sheba - Tosin Alabi, Kokoma Kwaku, Elisha Robin and Eshe Asante. Photo by Ali Wright
Queens of Sheba – Tosin Alabi, Kokoma Kwaku, Elisha Robin and Eshe Asante. Photo by Ali Wright

To be a Black woman is to carry the weight of societal pressures and judgements without being afforded the luxury or the safety of full freedom of expression.  Even within our own communities we are interrogated, oppressed and restricted. It is the friendships and kinship of Black women that very often keeps us guided and keeps afloat amidst society’s burdens.

Writer Jessica L. Hagan did a phenomenal job of maintaining the gravity of the issues dealt with while also interspersing moments of joy and enjoyment into the play

Queens of Sheba is a powerful and vibrant production focused on the friendship of four Black women navigating microaggressions at work, inter racial dating, relationships with Black men and misogynoir. 

Feminist scholar, Moya Bailey defined “misogynoir “as the ways anti-Black and misogynistic representation shape broader ideas about Black women, particularly in visual culture and digital spaces.” This production brought this term to life boldly and without restriction.

Given the subjects that were tackled writer Jessica L. Hagan did a phenomenal job of maintaining the gravity of the issues dealt with while also interspersing moments of joy and enjoyment into the play. And how else can Black women survive without these many moments of joy and enjoyment despite it all, something I myself have shared many times in shared spaces with Black women online and offline.

The raw talent of each of the actresses cannot be understated, they were phenomenal

The musical interludes if at times a little on the nose were fun and broke through the heaviness of the themes. The pace of the play made it feel immersive and all consuming. The raw talent of each of the actresses cannot be understated, they were phenomenal.

The audience had an insight into a safe space without losing sight of the sensitivity of their experiences. To make space for Black women to shed tears in a world that doesn’t always honour our tears was powerful and appreciated.

This play was a joy.

NEED TO KNOW: Queens of Sheba is at Soho Theatre until 26 February 2022 | See listing

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Four
To be a Black woman is to carry the weight of societal pressures and judgements without being afforded the luxury or the safety of full freedom of expression.  Even within our own communities we are interrogated, oppressed and restricted. It is the friendships and...queens-of-sheba-soho-theatre