Congo, Lumumba, Mobutu… we all know the ending of this one, and appropriately the play is in a Brechtian mode: there are characters, but the tragedy is created by material interests – colonial mining interests (played by a chorus of puppets) and Cold War superpowers are Fates holding forth from opposing balconies. Character (flaws, virtues…) serves only to shape the roles the different people are given in the tragedy. With fine performances, singing, dancing, puppets and set, wonderfully in your face in the Young Vic. Chiwetel Ejiofor plays the lead.
The next morning, Leonardo asked his mother what the play had been about. “The independence of the Congo.” “Oh, 1960,” replied the six year old. Parents’ jaws drop, then they beam.
Our friend Daisy Heath is the producer. If you’re in London this summer, see it.