Written by Dael Orlandersmith, Directed by Gemma Bodinetz
Everyman, 14th-18th February 2006

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

This is a powerful and fascinating drama - directed by Gemma Bodinetz, Artistic Director for the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse - about racial prejudice within the African-American culture in South Carolina during the 1960s and 1970s.

Andi Osho as Alma and Anthony Ekundayo Lennon as Eugene speak mostly in direct address to the audience and never cast eyes upon one another throughout the production. The two actors play all the parts, but at times it seems as if there are more people on stage than just the pair of them.

Alma is guilt-ridden about her dark skin, a feeling passed down to her from her mother, who has a deep sense of black as being ugly.

Although he has a dark-skinned father, Eugene has lighter skin than Alma. They fall in love, after being playmates when they were children, despite the prejudices of their parents and their local community. His father in particular despises Eugene for his skin tone.

Alma moves to New York, where life has so much more to offer to her, while Eugene remains in South Carolina, afraid to make the leap into what for him is an alien world, but occasionally visits her.

Although they adore each other, you sense that their happiness won't last and that something is going to go very much amiss between them.

Almost inevitably there is a tragic ending to the play, following a culmination of the enmity between Eugene and his embittered father.

This Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse presentation continues until February 18th in Liverpool and then continues its tour of England until the end of March.

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