Misty is a story about friendship, love in all its forms, parenthood, absence, human rights, racism and the creative process of writing a play.
What are the stories that we can tell? And how do we tell them?
Arinzé Kene constructs two interlocked narratives, bringing the audience on an emotional journey.
It starts in a night bus with a fight between blood cells and viruses. The audience later understand that viruses are Black people, immediately giving a social, political and economical contest we can relate to.
We are told the story through prose and lyrics, always accompanied by music by Shiloh Coke and and Adrian McLeod, who also play Arinzé’s friend. The same friends who think he should not be writing the play.
The gig-theatre is an intellectual, emotional, ethical and moral journey that tells us why Arinzé chose to tell the story, regardless of the disapproval of the Black community. What does it mean to be a writer? How do you write about Black trauma?
When everyone thinks that he’s contributing to the system of oppression that Black people lived through and still live, he chose to write a story about oppression to talk about the issue. He doesn’t shy away from depicting his character as a thug, but also doesn’t hold back when he talks about how much he cares for his daughter.
Wonderfully directed by Omar Elerian, Misty uses special effect to deliver a successful scenography that gives another depth and texture to the writing.
Misty is comical, it’s emotional, it hurts but it was about time that someone addressed these issues on stage in such a creative and ingenious way.
Misty is running until the 21st April at Bush Theatre, just across Shepherd’s Bush Market Underground station. Don’t miss it!
Photo: Bronwen Sharp