Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh-16th-18th of May 2019.

Reviewed by Hannah Plumb


Shine is a story of acceptance and of finding the light inside of us all. Kema Sikszwe, or Kema Kay as he’s known as while making music, is the writer and performer of Shine uses the piece to tell the audience his unique and inspiring story. Moving from Zambia to Newcastle’s West End at the age of three, being the only black kid in his new community and how his family navigated their new life are just some of the issues explored throughout the piece. 

However, although the piece discusses Kema Sikszwe’s extremely personal story the play overall is very relatable. It is also a coming of age story and an inspiring tale for anyone who has ever struggled fitting in or anyone who has ever felt lost. All you must do, according to Sikszwe is find your light and chase your dreams. 

The music in Shine is a really great part of the performance. The way that Sikszwe and director, Graeme Thompson have managed to blend the theatre performance and the musical performance together gives the piece a really exciting energy. Not to mention some of the songs are just very good. 

Overall, Shine is a thoroughly enjoyable show which is well created and performed. There are one or two new show kinks that I imagine will be easily ironed out. After that, I believe this show has real potential to be an important piece of theatre which could inspire many young people to deal with the darkest of times by turning on your own light.