What does being mixed race in Britain mean today? Probably a lot of bullshit comments like 'What are you?' and 'If you're from Africa, why are you so white?' It also means occupying an in-between space, often being neither white enough nor black enough. This play - returning to Arcola after a sold-out run last year - explores the liminality of mixed race identity in Britain with a biting wit and a whole heap of sass. When one of her videos goes viral, YouTuber and self-proclaimed Queen of the Selfie, Ella, must confront some very #real issues about beauty, race, and self-love. While the social media storyline might feel a little on the nose, the play tackles an important topic that deserves way more than 75 minutes of exploration, and sends out an important message about what it means to be beautiful. Select performances will be followed by a Q+A and informal chat with the cast and creative team.
You might also be interested in...
This will be special. The story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s rivalry with Italian composer Antonio Salieri, pitching Mozart as a young upstart arriving in Vienna and wowing the world with his genius. Aside from the director Michael Longhurst (who worked wonders on Constellations) and Lucian Msamati playing Salieri, the real pièce de résistance is the 20-piece Southbank Sinfonia providing orchestral accompaniment - it’s sure to create an atmosphere unlike any other. Tickets will be very tricky to get - book ASAP for £15 tickets. Show times also vary, so check the website to be sure.
Mark Rylance is one of the best actors ever. Here he’s written a play based around the surreal writings of Minnesotan poet Louis Jenkins. It’s a series of short scenes, with no real overarching narrative, involving two fisherman waiting it out on a frozen Minnesota lake. The poetry is about nothing and everything at the same time, and things get more bizarre throughout the 90mins. Other characters appear, but you just want to watch Rylance. His simple, drawling, hapless performance is funny and touching. Simply sit back and bask. Free tickets if you dress as a fish, no joke.
Stuck between a rock and a really hard place, a teenage boy kidnaps his brother in a bid to flee his decrepit council flat and escape his daily encounters with the authorities. Shining a light on the all-too-real experiences of young working-class men in Britain, this candid one-man-show switches seamlessly between portraying the innocence of childhood and the very real struggle of being fcuk’d by an unfair system. Offering a tense, loveable and tormenting performance, Fcuk’d is one of those plays you may want to forget, but never will. Oh and it’s entirely in verse - despite the slightly dyslexic title.