Streaming on YouTube and Instagram
Reviewed by Claire Roderick
Black Apron Entertainment and English Touring Theatre’s Children’s Children manages to say more in 15 minutes about the reality of Black life in the UK than many full-length films.
Directed by Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu and Rikki Beadle-Blair and filmed at The Prince of Peckham, the five short films see five characters working or drinking in the pub perform monologues. It is not until the final credits that the dates the pieces were written is revealed, and the realisation that they cover 170 years of Black British history is a hammer blow. All the monologues feel current and relevant today, providing a wakeup call to how little has changed.
Amber James, who also performs Little Brown Girl, has curated the five monologues, each of which has its own style and rhythm, but are all beautifully written and sensitively performed by Kayla Meikle, Amber James, Gershwyn Eustache Jnr, Sule Rimi and Khai Shaw. The attitudes towards Black women in Britain are explored and the strength of Black women is celebrated. The failures of integration are skewered in Apparently – the least theatrical, but none the less devastating monologue performed by Gershwyn Eustache Jnr, and the inequalities and systematic racism of British society are laid bare before the most modern piece – a rallying cry that A Change Must Come.
Flawlessly curated, directed and performed, Children’s Children is stunning – unflinchingly delivering a stark message of inequality but also celebrating strength and resilience. Unmissable.
Children’s Children and a making of film are available to watch here: