The winners of the London Evening Standard Theatre Awards were announced tonight (Sunday 3 December 2017) at a ceremony at London’s Theatre Royal, Drury Lane: three of the nine awards went to the premiere of Jez Butterworth’s The Ferryman
Truth be told I hadn’t intended to see Gloria, my own little act of protest at the Hampstead’s continuing gender imbalance – six shows straight on their main stage both written and directed by men. But the delights of An Octoroon introduced me to the writing of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and he definitely feels like a playwright with a lot to say.
This is phenomenal. And pretty wild. Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s An Octoroon is the most intelligent and most theatre-savvy play on today’s London stage: it is a satire on staging race, an account of black identity, a criticism of plantation life, a celebration of genre fun and a tribute to a forgotten work from the Victorian era.
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