BLACK SUPERHERO | London, Royal Court Theatre

This outstanding debut play by Danny Lee Wynter puts gay, black voices centre-stage as British actor David (Lewis Brown) navigates being a side-lover to Hollywood star King (Dyllón Burnside). While struggling actor David is still doing children’s parties for his sister (Rochenda Sandall), Raheem (Eloka Ivo) is a rising star and King is a bona fide A-lister.

Their friendship group of gay, black men cackles and jibes with witty and incisive commentary about the industry and black representation. And yet they are all united in their adoration of the Hollywood superhero Craw franchise, in which characters float around in pretty capes, but speak incredibly weak, cliché dialogue. This contrast between fictional and non-fictional representation is the play’s way of screaming about how a true-to-life depiction of the black, queer experience is long overdue.

For a play about love triangles, the set (Joanna Scotcher) is literally made out of triangles. It does look very cool, however, and works for every high-end location David and King visit, from exclusive nightclubs to hotels. In a classic Royal Court second act coup-de-théâtre, a cascade of sand and projections (Ryan Day) captures David’s overwhelming desire to be rescued.

Intimacy director Yarit Dor has done an extraordinary job of making the play’s sex and intimacy feel authentic, something rarely seen and central to the play’s exploration of shame and desire.

Playing at the Royal Court 16 March – 29 April 2023.

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