This is an ambitious theatrical piece but I wonder if it was playing in the wrong place to the wrong audience.
Because the audience is 99.5% white. We’re all middle class. We’re mainly liberals.
I want to see this show in Alabama. In Mississippi. In Detroit. (as a fly on the wall) Because Josette Bushell-Mingo’s anger, pride and passion for this first lady of Jazz infused political outcry is great. But I am not her constituency; much as I might want to be.
It’s part play, part gig and brilliantly defines the anger and political influence of dear departed Nina Simone.
The design is, at times, with the use of an ingenious metal back cloth, absolutely stunning.
The band; Shapor Bastansiar on keys, Shaney Forbes (fuck me he’s good) on drums and Jair -Rohm Parker Wells on double bass are electric (but acoustic); but sadly the afternoon we saw Josette the vocal delivery was a big fight as her mic seemed underpowered.
As for Josette. Her voice is amazing. Her performance is amazing. The gig part of the show is amazing.
But the point of it. The politics. In Edinburgh in August? I’m not convinced.
Josette, if you read this, (I don’t suppose you will) I hope you don’t take this the wrong way. It’s a brilliant production I just think it could have more impact, rather than luvvie appreciation in other more relevant places.