Last weekend “She Who Must Not Be Named” and I went to the theatre. She goes frequently; I go rarely, for reasons that will become apparent in the course of this review. It was the Everyman Theatre in
Well, the Cold War is over and Blessing has moved on to other lefty concerns. He’s now worried about Western insensitivity to the plight of post-colonial
I can’t imagine a better venue in which to see a small, intimate play like this than
The dialogue was only occasionally witty and it seemed that the audience laughed from time to time more from politeness than genuine amusement. For the most part the dialogue consisted of an interminable rehearsal of racial and gender stereotypes. Ms. Chavis’ played the part of the mother of an African despot, modeled on Idi Amin. Ms. Schraf plays the part of a British surgeon whose son had been killed by a black
Early in the first act the play asserts as self-evident fact that the troubles of contemporary
In the course of their conversation we discover that both women have ulterior motives. The surgeon wants the empress to intercede to secure the freedom of four doctors who are scheduled to be executed by her son. The empress wants to secure a reliable poison with which she can assassinate her son so as to save innumerable lives. The white surgeon agonizes about her breach of professional ethics but eventually, in the second act, accedes to the empress’ demands.
The final act takes place in
At the end of the play I was heartened to see that only a few of the younger audience members did that silly “standing ovation” thing. There was little discussion on the way out. I did, however, meet a delightful woman who tried to convince me to buy a season’s subscription to the theatre. I declined the offer.