This Is Black – Double Bill II: Pyneapple & Teleportation at the Bunker
Pyneapple and Teleportation are the performances featured in the This Is Black festival’s Double Bill II. Written by new Black writers, both pieces of work, while vastly different in style and story, have clear and powerful observations about Britain today.
Chantelle Alle and Melissa Saint’s Pyneapple, tells the story of Erycah (Saint) in her beauty salon with her three friends. Following these women’s lives, we learn the beauty standards tied to misogyny and racism that each of them face daily. As the salon comes under threat due to gentrification, the women come together and protest society. There is at points some clunky dialogue, but these brief moments are overshadowed by the wit and humour of the likeable characters. With dancing, spoken word and hilarious conversations, there is little to complain about in this production.
Teleportation, written by Ronke Adekoluejo, centres around the relationship of a disabled white man (Lee Ravitz) and his black female carer (Antonia Layiwola) in a Western society where black citizens are incentivised to leave for Africa. With an evolving set design coupled with intricate lighting, the piece fully draws viewers into the play’s reality. The strong performances from the actors deliver a unique relationship as they embody a stand-out depiction of a friendship erupting out from under the weight of racism. From powerful writing and an enthralling dynamic between Ravitz and Layiwola, Teleportation is an engaging experience with clear political intent.
Here are two strong pieces that complement each other in tone and differ enough in style to create an exciting viewing experience, and double bill for the This Is Black festival. While both performances suffer from clumsy dialogue at points, Pyneapple and Teleportation truly make for an outstanding evening.
Photo: Korey J Ryan
This Is Black – Double Bill II: Pyneapple & Teleportation is at the Bunker from 5th until 25th August 2019. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.