Following highly successful runs at the Edinburgh Fringe 2016, International Slavery Museum Liverpool, and The Wardrobe Theatre in Bristol, Identity Crisis by Phina Oruche (ITV’s Footballers’ Wives, Channel 4’s Hollyoaks) transfers to London’s Ovalhouse. This hilariously funny one-woman show explores identity struggles that are common to us all.
The play was born out of a real life story of the sudden death of Oruche’s 19-year-old niece in her home in 2011 from a brain aneurism. This distressing time was followed by a series of racial and international incidents happening throughout the world and in Oruche’s life. Identity Crisis helped her turn a mess into a message.
Identity Crisis focuses on nine characters all of whom are having their own identity crises; they are black, white, old, young, male and female. The audience are taken through sixty images of Oruche when she worked in the world of fashion, providing an illuminating exposition of life on the catwalk. Starting with the media’s telling of when tragedy struck, this laugh-out-loud show examines Oruche’s own observations on others conceptions of black people in the media via her life as she worked as a fashion model, actress, radio presenter and then writer.
Through its simple staging, the cast is brought to life; from Amy Tan, a working-class white girl with a Scouse brow and a taste for spray tans and black lads, to Antonio de Silva, a football crazy Italian living in LA who is missing his mum.
Phina Oruche comments: “I created Identity Crisis for two reasons. My life stopped when tragedy struck and I plunged into a deep, dark, interminable grief. The range of emotions and the questions I posed about my life and its value at times made me feel like I was in a crisis. This show has given me the freedom to play characters I would never get cast as. All my characters are vulnerable, flawed, and struggling with who they are. Identity Crisis has proved cathartic to me and has restored my joy and faith in humanity.”
In addition to the run at Ovalhouse, Phina Oruche will bring Identity Crisis to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017.
Identity Crisis by Phina Oruche
Performance Dates Tuesday 9th May to Saturday 13th May at 7.45pm
Running time 70 minutes
Ovalhouse, 52-54 Kennington Oval, London SE11 5SW
Twitter @PhinaOru, @Ovalhouse, #IdentityCrisis
Writer and performer Phina Oruche
Director Bill Hopkinson