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BWW Review: ...cake, Theatre Peckham


At Theatre Peckham until 7 August

BWW Review: ...cake, Theatre Peckham

BWW Review: ...cake, Theatre Peckham Babirye Bukilwa's ...cake is an equally heartbreaking and heartwarming exploration of love of all kinds. Part of a trilogy of work from the writer, this story is the prequel to bukilwa's acclaimed play ...blackbird hour, which was shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Playwriting, the Bruntwood Prize and the Alfred Fagon Award. Directed by Theatre Peckham's Associate Director, malakaï sargeant, this 90-minute story is exceptional at every moment.

Set against a sweltering April evening, the events take place entirely in Sissy's London flat. Opening to Sissy dancing to Sade without a care in the world, Danielle Kassarate is utterly mesmerising to watch as she moves so freely and unrestrained. It isn't often in a naturalistic setting you get to see an extended period of movement occur without interruption, but here it is a total joy to watch it occur on stage. Gerrard Martin's choreography is precise but leaves room for impulse, allowing Kassarate to shine. The stage is alive, and we are set up for an enjoyable time.

However, this sense of equilibrium is jolted with the arrival of Eshe, a sixteen-year-old girl who's arrived with purpose. From that moment on, high-intensity emotions come to the forefront, and we settle in for an exhilarating exploration of freedom and parental responsibility. Donna Banya is equally sensational as the young teen; she moves around the space with total control, interacting with Debbie Duru's meticulously detailed set. Matches are lit, wine is poured, curtains are drawn; alongside Xana's sound and Luke Goodlitt's lighting, the atmosphere created is one of tension and angst.

sargeant's production has many moments of brilliance. They linger in silence, teasing out the tension between the two women, allowing the audience to feel truly like flies on the wall of this incredible drama. bukilwa puts everything on display and leaves it all there for us to dissect - it's a psychological explosion of generational trauma, which never lets you catch a breath. A total thrill from start to finish, in the midst of hostily, the two find connection, joy and hope.

...cake at Theatre Peckham until 7 August

Photo: Seye Isikalu

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