All seven are given lengthy monologues, most of which could benefit from some stringent editing.
There’s persuasive work from Allyson Ava-Brown as mixed-race Halfbreed — “You’re not white enough, you’re not black enough” — and from Toyin Ayedun-Alase as the proudly black Pickyead, with her dynamic use of slang (knowing what “blick butters” means helps considerably here).
Even a Speed Dating event is more natural than meeting someone online.
Click offer a safe, welcoming atmosphere with a host to meet you and introduce you to other single people who have come on their own.
In a heatwave-struck London, four homeless lads each go on a date with Summer, newly arrived from the Philippines.
Meanwhile, Summer’s mentor, Joan, tries to help sandwich-seller Justine feel comfortable with herself. Designer Tom Paris’ huge, George Melies-style inflatable moon, which hangs over the too-green grass of his perspective-distorting set, adds to the Fairytale of London feel of Beadle-Blair’s production.
Writer and director Rikki Beadle-Blair has put sexuality, gender and diversity at the heart of his work from early in his career.
Indeed, Dawn Reid’s production, simply but strikingly mounted on a bare stage, is best when it feeds off this group dynamic and harnesses everyone in tandem.
Like life itself, Beadle-Blair’s writing sprawls between cringeworthy and poetically sublime in a beat. But this funny, romantic, optimistic play will still bring on the tears.
Theatre Royal Stratford East dubs itself "a people's theatre", but for once, it is not an idle aspiration but a reality: this is a theatre that really belongs to its community, both on stage in the stories it tells and the audiences it tells them to.
Anyone who doubts that hair is a political issue should try this new play from Somalia Seaton.
Tackling the often vexed relationship that black women have with their locks, Seaton turns the work into an exploration of identity, ethnicity and belonging.