If you haven’t made your way to the Camden People’s Theatre, you’re missing a trick. Sitting proudly on the corner of some of London’s most corporate and soulless roads, the CPT emerges as a beacon of fringe-goodness, a theatre that champions diversity, inclusivity and the best kind of weird uniqueness. It is truly a pleasure to be in.
Calm Down Dear, hosted by the CPT until February 4th, features inspiring and innovative feminist theatre. Its headliner, written and performed by the effervescent Racheal Ofori, is So Many Reasons.
And there are so many reasons to watch this show: it’s real, personal, and has the courage to vocalise what often just remains a private thought (certainly, there were many moments for me that felt very familiar). Directed
by Zoe Lafferty, So Many Reasons is, in turn, rollicking good fun, serious philosophical lowdown, and pure youthful emotion.
Culture, generation and gender collide to produce a wonderfully funny and pertinent show. Ofori’s questions are subtle but cutting – she delivers knife-sharp lines with a smile, direct to the heart of the dilemma of being a first generation British-Ghanian woman, a product of a religious family, living in London today. Her issues are still somehow my issues, despite my being a first generation Australian-Italian woman, grown in Sydney. It’s very female, something many women will relate to, even if their circumstances are packaged up a little differently.
It’s a simple enough space, overlooked by a large neon sign, which delineates the salient authority over a scene (be it God, sex, or a simple mango tree) in a bright white light. A clever addition from Tanya Stephenson. All of this makes for a touching performance, the sparky pace and rhythm of it interrupted only towards the end. My only other small distraction was the sheer amount of props on the ground –Ofori transforms from one character to the next with ease, making some of these unnecessary. A truly charming performer, her Mother is a particular delight whenever she appears; it’s sensitively executed by Ofori and a real pleasure to watch. I look forward to her next show.
To echo Ofori’s final words, I too hope she never loses that energy and zest – her performance is filled with light and spirit, and it’s a joy from start to finish.
Review by Christina Care Calgaro
Told through the eyes of a British Ghanaian woman, So Many Reasons explores the unique influence our mothers have on how we understand the world. Inspired by the current cultural and generational shifts in women’s perspective of themselves and each other, this bold, passionate new show asks what happens when we realise mums don’t always know best.
Created by Racheal Ofori, So Many Reasons is the second recipient of the Jerwood Charitable Foundation funded Home Run commission, established by CPT to support emerging theatre makers ready to present longer runs of fully developed productions.
So Many Reasons
Tue 16 Jan – Sat 3 Feb at 7:15pm