Trafalgar Studios, London – 20 October 2018
Guest reviewer: Pearl Esfahani
Arinzé Kene’s visceral writing places us from the offset within the throbbing organ that is London; packed night buses in its veins, we are its cells colliding against each other with our own truths. We follow an illuminating take on gentrification through the story of the writer, and their character running parallel to each other, living different lives but ultimately affected by the same things that London living entails.
By the end, I’m not even sure how much of a yarn has been spun between the two narratives, but I don’t care. Particularly as a native working class Londoner, so much of the show resonated, from locals being priced out, to the small details such as the sound of hard shoes in the mornings.
The devised and collaborative approach to the development of Misty comes through in the cohesiveness of the entire production. Arinze’s presence is powerful and around him, set/light/video all work together, skewing and enhancing the architecture of bodies and landscape on stage.
Rachael Nanyonjo’s movement direction interacts perfectly with all this and the exceptional sound and music carry the audience through with force (you’ll be glad to know there are plans to record the soundtrack). Omar Elerian’s direction both acknowledges the process of theatre-making and makes it as much as part of the show as moments which are total theatrical magic.
Although a subject matter with very real consequences, there is humanity and humour throughout and a very satisfying embrace of the absurd in the second half. There is a moment involving a large orange balloon that in all honesty, I could have watched for an hour in itself. A visual, aural, emotional, and intellectual invigoration. This is exactly what I wish all Featre (yes, with an F) could be.
Cast and Creatives
ARINZÉ ARINZÉ KENE
ACTOR/MUSICIAN SHILOH COKE
ACTOR/MUSICIAN ADRIAN MCLEOD
VOICE ACTOR (LUCAS)AKEMNJI NDIFORNYEN
LITTLE GIRLS SEDONNA HENOK
UNDERSTUDY FOR ARINZÉ KIBONG TANJI
UNDERSTUDY MUSICIAN CHLOE BURKE , HANNAH MADDOX
BY ARINZÉ KENE
DIRECTED BY OMAR ELERIAN
SET DESIGNER RAJHA SHAKIRY
LX DESIGNER JACKIE SHEMESH
SOUND DESIGNER ELENA PEÑA
VIDEO DESIGNER DANIEL DENTON
MUSICAL DIRECTORS SHILOH COKE
DRAMATURGS KIRSTY HOUSLEY
MOVEMENT DIRECTOR RACHAEL NANYONJO
CASTING DIRECTOR (UNDERSTUDY)ELLIE COLLYER-BRISTOW
ASSOCIATE SOUND RICHARD BELL
Misty is on until 20th October https://www.bushtheatre.co.uk/event/misty-west-end/