Black Matter ★★★★ Fane (online) | March 24-31, 2021


Giles Terera won the Olivier best actor award for his performance as Aaron Burr in Hamilton. Here, he sings his own songs and shares his own truth. In an intimate cabaret setting, Terera sings and accompanies himself on the guitar and piano. He offers a cycle of twelve songs which comment on the issues of the day but also resonate with the ongoing challenges of living and loving. The performance with songs like "A Picture of Britain," "London Blues" and "Charing Cross Road" is apparently grounded in a very specific time and place, but the themes of racial injustice, alienation and the joy and pain of relationships are universal. There's a broad range of genres here, from jazz and blues to funk and ballads; there's also a wide variety of moods from outrage and protest to melancholy and meditative. Terera moves seamlessly through them all. He introduces us to characters and examines vignettes from his life during lockdown that expose so much about our contemporary politics and complex world. The setting of the show is the usually buzzing Crazy Coqs cabaret but now there is no live audience. The background is a poignant underlining of the times in which we live and which Terera so eloquently comments on. We may be in dark times and London Bridge may be falling down, but Terera's final message is one of hope for we are going on.

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Dan Poole.

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