Fasten your shackles and be delighted and discomforted

20 Oct

The Colored Museum

Presented by Talawa Theatre Company

Runs until – 23 October 2011
Victoria and Albert Museum, Lecture Theatre
Written by George C. Wolfe
Directed by Don Warrington

Book Here: 020 7942 2211 /

This really is a must-see and a unique piece of art, the creativity and talent revealed in this play and cast are…unbelievable!!!

“The Colored Museum” is a seriously funny satire that allows you to take a look at black culture from a very different angle, starting right from the slave trade. This play invites you to be as critical about the past and the present, whilst having the time of your life.

The play begins with “A trip across the Atlantic” and the cabin crew lovingly reminding you to “put your shackles on”. Once the plane arrives at its ‘destination’ the audience is taken on a journey through black history and identity.

This play exposes the common stereotypes and issues within the black community – such as; weave vs. natural, homosexuality, black faith and many more.

Whilst the themes in this play shock, it has an immense healing effect.

The fearless humor of this play will definitely leave you smiling on your way home whilst reflecting on your own environment and condition.

Interview with the cast members

The play features a set of multitalented actors who make this play, which was originally written in 1986, very relevant to 2011. I was really fortunate to find out from some of the cast members what drew them to the play and what advice they would give to aspiring young actors.

Why did you want to be part of this play?

Gbemisola Ikumelo: When reading the script, I was attracted by it being very versatile and offering a lot of artistic opportunities to perform.

Ashley Campbell: I think, I was convinced by its power to educate the black community.

What were the challenges you faced when rehearsing for the play?

Gbemisola Ikumelo: I faced some internal challenges. For instance, I realised that I did not like my own natural hair while the other two embraced their natural hair. But again, this allowed me to embrace the healing offered in being able to deal with and overcome this.

Alana Maria: The challenge lies within staying true to yourselves in a world that overwhelms you with stereotypes and prejudices about how you ought to be. The director wants to see you performing and not another version; he wants to see your style.

Ashley Campbell: Yeah, it’s about being raw and a willingness to be yourself as you’re constantly giving your all. It took me awhile but I now dare to be crazy and just as the play says, we have to embrace madness.

What makes a good actor?

Akiya Henry: Always being flexible and wondering what connects you with the role. While some people think, ‘Oh you are just playing a character’, you often reveal a lot of yourself which makes the play authentic.


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