Written by Keith Saha
Directed by Julia Samuels
Produced by 20 Stories High
DJ Soundscape by Chunky (Riot Jazz/Hoya Hoya)
Liverpool Playhouse Studio
28th January- 31st January 2015

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

Black has some merits but at times it sometimes felt like I was being hit over the head with a hammer regarding the overall message of the play, which I and many others are already aware of. To be frank it did not enlighten me at all.

Narrated on stage by 16 year-old Nikki (Abby Melia) problems arise when a Zimbabwean family move into a working class housing estate. Even a dog barks at the black people, not to mention the racist barbs of of Nikki's dad.

Her association with Precious (Craig Shanda), one of the sons of the newcomers - who is represented behind a turntable playing records, including dub music, and using a mic to rap his feelings about the antagonism towards him and his family from people living on the estate, which adds extra layers to the story.

Simple props are used, consisting of several cardboard boxes which serve as part of the estate, with drawings of windows and doors on the outside of them; for storing the rubber balls, which the kids play with in the nursery where Nikki works; and for laying on as if they were beds.

Nikki's link with Precious causes repercussions which she is unable to contend with. She denies liking him but you know that is not the case.

The hatred of her dad, and in essence that of a proportion of people on the estate towards Precious and his family, reaches a nadir when he accuses Nikki of being "a nigger lover."

After this stint at the Playhouse Studio the production went on a national tour.

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