Same Same Different: a sense of belonging for the trans-racial adoptee

Writer Naomi Sumner Chan’s new verbatim play Same Same Different diverts from the widely-told adoption fairy tale that follows parents through the process of trying to adopt, where adoption as the happy endgame. Here she examines what happens after the happy ending, the “tainted golden ticket”; how adoptive families sculpt themselves and their unit, and what residual questions remain for – particularly trans-racial – adoptees. Continue reading

Rotterdam: love lost and found

Jon Brittain’s Olivier Award winning Rotterdam is a tidily-packaged, light-hearted play that confronts the messy, fraught discourse of identity and its uncomfortable polygamous marriage to gender, sexuality and labels. Neatly designed and sensitively researched, its humanity sings through its excellent cast and softening Sappho-pop soundtrack. Continue reading

Lost In A Sea of Glass and Tin: Lynchian dissonance

Lost in A Sea of Glass and Tin is an intermedial performance devised by creative duo Gary and Claire, aka Gary Winters and Claire Hind, during a residency at Chicago Defibrillator Gallery and performed as part of York Literature Festival at York Theatre Royal Studio. Utterly incomprehensible, yet ultimately endearing, the show is inspired by David Lynch’s unsettling and noireesque imagination and Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy. Continue reading

SparkPlug: Rod Stewart, racism, and a Ford Capri

“I’ve got two dads. One’s black, so that makes me black, so I’m told.” It is with these words that David Judge begins SparkPlug, his semi-autobiographical account of growing up as a mixed-race child in the eighties and nineties. For the most part, he plays his father (also called Dave), examining  his own childhood through the eyes of a white man, married to a white woman, who is giving birth to a child fathered by a black man. Continue reading

Dance Double Bill: Ensemble Improvisation and Plastic Soul

Accessible from the first moment, the genuine and hilarious Ensemble Improvisation has nothing to do with the austere world of traditional dance forms that newcomers might expect. Director-performer Lewys Holt leads a small cast of performers including Sally Doughty, Pete Shenton, Eleanor Sikorski and Inari Hulkkonen. They wear joyful, colourful everyday clothes: a glittery blue t-shirt, flowy green trousers, pink jeans. The stage is brightly lit, the set is bare except for a pair of microphones. To the left of the stage, Tariq Emam oversees a music station with a computer, drum and gong at hand. Continue reading