Janice Okoh’s “enthralling” new Black British history play The Gift has premiered to a tranche of ★★★★ reviews at Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre at the start of a UK-wide tour. We’ve rounded up our selection of favourite review highlights. Time to get booking!
Janice Okoh‘s new play The Gift is the third show to emerge from Eclipse Theatre’s groundbreaking Revolution Mix movement, which is spearheading the largest-ever delivery of new Black British stories in theatre, film and radio.
Set in both 1852 and the present day, the outrageously funny play explores themes of cross-racial adoption and cultural appropriation, partly inspired by the remarkable true story of Sarah Bonetta Davies, a young African girl who was adopted by Queen Victoria and raised in the Queen’s circles.
Her story is juxtaposed against that of a second Sarah – a middle-class black woman staying in a modern-day Cheshire village with her husband and small child. The two Sarahs’ timelines are brought together when they meet Queen Victoria for tea, in a gathering which promises to be anything but a regular tea party.
Eclipse founder and former artistic director Dawn Walton directs the six-strong cast of Shannon Hayes, Rebecca Charles, Donna Berlin, Joanna Brookes and Richard Teverson.
After Coventry, The Gift continues to London’s Theatre Royal Stratford East (29 January-15 February), Oxford, Bury St Edmunds, Southampton and Scarborough.
Prior to a UK tour, The Gift runs at Belgrade Theatre, Belgrade Square, Corporation St, Coventry CV1 1GS from 18 to 25 January 2020 with evening performances Mondays to Saturdays at 7.45pm (21 January at 7pm), matinees 23 and 25 January at 2.30pm. Tickets are priced from £8.50. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!