Walking the talk of Black experience


Tuesday, 15th October 2019, 11:47 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th October 2019, 2:44 pm

We join three men who go walking together once a month to chew the fat and leave behind the troubles in their lives.

Sheffielder and history buff Thomas (Ben Onwukwe) feels unappreciated at home now his children have flown the nest and at work where he has been constantly overlooked for promotion and fears he may be nearing the end of his journey in life.

Star Trek fan Richard (Tonderai Munyevu) agonises over whether he should go back to Ghana for the funeral of the father he barely knew.

Middle class incomer Matthew (Patrick Regis), a doctor, is rarely off his mobile tending to his high maintenance white wife.

And then they encounter young Ayeesha (Dorcas Sebuyaange), an aspiring MC, who believes black people should stick to the cities but has nevertheless headed to the hills to clear her head after encountering the same racism as the older men .

These are characters, all nicely played, who are from different walks of life but united in the experience of being black in Britain.

Directed by Dawn Walton, the thoughtful play is written by Testament, a rapper, beatboxer as well as a theatremaker, and intersperses rap poetry with the walking and talking and introduces a kind of magic realism in conjuring the spirits of black ancestors who trod the same path through the Peaks. “We walked England before the English,” declares Thomas

There is wry comedy in the banter between the walkers and plenty of knowing references to Sheffield which might pass by other audiences on this second tour which goes far and wide from Perth to Plymouth.

Ian Soutar