My Voice Was Heard But It Was Ignored

Nana-Kofi Kufuor
Red Ladder Theatre Company
Summerhall

My Voice Was Heard but it was Ignored

Statistics consistently show that black people are more likely to be stopped and searched than white people. If you happen to be a black male youth then the inequality becomes even more shocking.

No surprise then that the black lad Reece (Jelani D’Aguilar) in Nana-Kofi Kufuor’s play wants to steer clear of the police. Unfortunately, he isn't quick enough. The police grab him, put him on the ground and physically abuse him. But who will complain? The lad's black, female teacher Gillian (Misha Duncan-Barry) witnesses what happened and did nothing.

The following day, Reece decides he will have a conversation with Gillian about this. He locks the classroom door with just the pair of them inside and confronts her about what she did.

Although he isn't initially aware of it, she also is a victim of racism. An untrue complaint made about her by a student has lost her a job and she is contemplating the prospect of being banned from teaching. She was just not believed and we suspect that is because she is black.

The initial arguments increasingly become surreal with each actor conjuring up satirical versions of each other and other characters. So much is packed into seventy minutes, it is a little hard at times to keep up with them. However, any random fifteen minutes could prompt a good, healthy political discussion afterwards. Police racism is only part of a wider problem that needs to be dealt with.

Reviewer: Keith Mckenna