What To Watch On Stage September 2022

The start of Autumn sees a number of revivals coming to London’s stages …

From Pearl Cleage’s Blues for an Alabama Sky to Dael Orlandersmith’s Yellowman – and don’t snooze on catching the digital release of Talawa’s Run it Back if you missed the live performance the first time round! If tickets haven’t sold out yet, you’ll also want to make sure you’re in the audience for the Black Out performance of Dipo Baruwa-Etti’s The Clinic. Read on for more September recommendations…

Blues for an Alabama Sky by Pearl Cleage

New York, 1930. Following a decade of creative explosion, the Harlem Renaissance is starting to feel the bite of the Great Depression. In the face of hardship and dwindling opportunity, Angel and her friends battle to keep their artistic dreams alive. But, when Angel falls for a stranger from Alabama, their romance forces the group to make good on their ambitions, or give in to the reality of the time. Lynette Linton directs a startling revival of this extraordinary play starring Samira Wiley (The Handmaid’s TaleOrange Is the New Black), Ronkẹ Adékoluẹjo (Three Sisters), Osy Ikhile (Sweat), Sule Rimi (Barber Shop Chronicles) and Giles Terera (Death of England: Face to Face).

Blues for an Alabama Sky plays at the National Theatre from Tuesday 20th September to Saturday 5th November.

Book tickets and find out more here.

Hot in Here (an energy-generating dance party) by Pigfoot Theatre

Developed from conversations with climate activists across the globe, Hot in Here uses dance, real-life stories, spoken word, and music to share the action taking place internationally against climate injustice, and the UK’s place within it. The show is powered by the first energy-harvesting dancefloor in live theatre. Like the collective action needed to tackle the climate emergency, the dancefloor converts the collective energy of the performers’ bodies into electricity. Come join the movement. Everyone’s invited. Made in collaboration with young people taking action at the frontlines of the climate crisis, predominantly in the Global South and nearest the Equator.

Hot in Here plays at Camden People’s Theatre on Sunday 25th-Monday 26th September and Tuesday 4th-Thursday 6th October.

Book tickets and find out more here.

Run it Back (On Demand) by Coral Messam, Gail Babb and TYPT:18

Set on an explosive club night, Run It Back immerses the audience in Black British club culture with dance, physical theatre and a live set from DJ and turntablist Psykhomantus. A disused warehouse. A party rages. Distorted bass pulses through the streets, calling the ravers in. Lost in the music and dripping with sweat, they surrender to the DJ’s game. 

Run It Back returns as a nationwide UK digital release with Vimeo from 12th – 30th September 2022. 

Book your free ticket for a theatre experience powered by grime, dancehall and afrobeat here.

The Wonderful World of Dissocia by Anthony Neilson

In search of a lost hour that has tipped the balance of her life, Lisa Jones is on a quest through a surreal world, filled with insecurity guards, flying cars, singing polar bears and wild-goose chases. The inhabitants of Dissocia are a curious blend of the funny, the friendly and the downright brutal. Starring Leah Harvey, Dominique Hamilton and Tomi Ogbaro, Anthony Neilson’s cult play is a poignant and comical delve into the nature of mental illness. 

The Wonderful World of Dissocia plays at Theatre Royal Stratford East from Friday 16th September-Saturday 15th October.

Book tickets and find out more here.

The Cocoa Butter Club as part of Rich Mix’s Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Fest

Fringe!, East London’s volunteer-run community festival, returns to take over Rich Mix this September with a week-long celebration of LGBTIQA+ culture.  On Saturday 24th September, catch The Cocoa Butter Club, who are here to moisturise a dry and dusty performance scene by showcasing Queer performers of colour! A high-octane cabaret/ party/ celebration boasting Burlesque, Drag, Spoken Word, Circus and so much more. It’s enough to have you screaming “yuss queen, smells like cocoa butter up in hurrrrrr”!

The Cocoa Butter Club will be performing at Rich Mix on Saturday 24th September.

Book tickets and find out more here.

Yellowman by Dael Orlandersmith

Alma and Gene have grown up together. She dreams of a life beyond the confines of their small town. But when their friendship develops into something more serious, Gene’s fate becomes tragically intertwined with hers and they can’t escape the legacy of racism and the tensions within their own community. Twenty years after it premiered and received a Pulitzer Prize nomination, Dael Orlandersmith’s Yellowman, set in the 1960s Deep South, is a moving and deeply pertinent play for now.

Yellowman plays at the Orange Tree Theatre from Monday 5th September-Saturday 8th October.

Book tickets and find out more here.

The Clinic by Dipo Baruwa-Etti

Wunmi is tired of the fight. When her world collapses, she turns to Ore for help. Ore resolves to save Wunmi, providing sanctuary in her parents’ home – a family ​of charity workers, therapists and politicians, dedicated to serving their community. Wunmi’s presence soon disrupts familiar patterns – cracks start to widen and bad blood thickens. As these pillars of society crumble, Wunmi wonders whether she’s walked into a refuge or ​a trap?

The Clinic plays at the Almeida Theatre from Saturday 3rd September-Saturday 1st October, with a Black Out performance – in which all the tickets are reserved for Black audience members – on Monday 19th September.

Book tickets and find out more here.

Black Joy 

Programmed alongside Dipo Baruwa-Etti’s The ClinicBlack Joy is a scratch event designed to celebrate and platform art and performance from emerging Black artists. A night of music, poetry, spoken word, and theatre, the full line-up consists of Britny Virginia, Chloe Carterr, Jahmila Heath directed by Rochelle Thomas, Jordan Aaron, Josephine Lacey, Mohamed Manso Bangura, OURRA, Poet RS, Rianna Simons, Roberta Livingston directed by Kwame Owusu, Stephanie Stevens directed by Xanthus, Tumi Salu and Warren Mendy.

Black Joy plays at the Almeida Theatre on Sunday 18th September.

Book tickets and find out more here.

THIRST TRAP by Ray Young

Part narrative and part meditation, THIRST TRAP is a 30-minute sound piece for you to listen to in the bath, along with an experience pack of resources to change your environment, available within London. THIRST TRAP delves into the possible outcomes of rising temperatures and the correlation between social and climate justice. A sister piece to the swimming pool performance experience Bodies, THIRST TRAP continues Ray Young’s investigation into water as a key character in our collective conversations on climate justice.

THIRST TRAP is available to stream from Wednesday 7th September-Friday 7th October.

Book tickets and find out more here.

Saturn Returns: Online by Sonny Nwachukwu

Written and directed by Sonny Nwachukwu, Saturn Returns delves into an astral projection reality where the characters of Ada and Obi take on forms of past, present and future lives. Saturn Returns wraps modern psychological issues of being trapped in repeating self-destructive patterns within the spiritually affirming circularity of rebirth along family lineage that is a feature of Igbo mythology. Through music, spoken word and dance, Saturn Returns contrasts Christian notions of redemption through suffering, with mystical notions of escaping the mortal realm through astral projection.

Saturn Returns: Online plays at the Southbank Centre from Monday 12th-Sunday 18th September.

Book tickets and find out more here.


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