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REVIEW: JOE GUY

 

Sunday, November 18, 2007.

 

By Belinda Otas 

 

4 Stars

 

Joseph Boateng, better known as Joe Guy, is a young premiership footballer of Ghanaian heritage, who soon finds himself living the life he has always dreamed of;  fame, money, the notoriety of being a well-paid football star and of course the bling.

 

Gone are the days when he was mocked for his strong Ghanaian accent, ridiculed by the girls and bullied on all sides. The assault goes as far as him being called Kunta Kinte.  

 

Joe is the new kid on the block until he meets Carlton the menace, and Rod Campbell, his team mates and the road to self-destruct is set for this promising young talent.  He find himself questioning his own identity as he tries to fit in but finds himself lost in the hype of his own ego.

 

Joe Guy is an explosive and vulgar exposure about the underlining tensions that exist between Africans and Afro-Caribbeans, as it examines the issues of race and identity through a theatrical lens. It also gives a rare glimpse into the rock-and-roll lifestyle of the English Football Premiership.

 

Roy Williams writes with a bird’s eye view on his chosen theme as he delivers sensational yet punchy and witty dialogue again and again. Abdul Salis is effulgent as Joe Guy and Mo Sesay, once again has not failed to let his brilliance as an actor shine through.

 

Interestingly, there is great rapport between both men in the opening scene which was hilarious and captivating, making them a dynamic stage duo.

 

Elufowoju, Jr’s direction succeeded in his ability to take on an immensely sensitive subject matter and marry it into a dramatic and artistry, bringing life and humour to an issue that is often swept aside. Despite a muffled up dug-out scene, where it was rather challenging to hear Mo Sesay clearly, Joe Guy’ is a sharp, energetic, exciting and brilliant production.

 

Written by Roy Williams

Directed By: Femi Elufowoju, Jr

Assistant Director and Stage Manager: Nick Oshikanlu

Set Design: Yukiko Tsukamoto

Music: Rockhill

Sound Designer: Simon McCorry

Cast: Abdul Salis, Syan Blake, Heather Craney, Mo Sesay, Michael Brogan, Joseph Morgan, Pippa Nixon and Alexis Rodney.

 

Joe Guy, is currently Showing at The Soho Theatre until 24 November, 2007.

 

For more information visit: www.sohotheatre.com

Tel: 0870 429 6883

 

Belinda Otas is a London-based freelance journalist and The New Black Magazine's theatre editor. She can be reached at belindaotas@thenewblackmagazine.com

 

Please e-mail comments to comments@thenewblackmagazine.com

 

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