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Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 (15 Jan-3 Feb) Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 (15 Jan-3 Feb)
Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 (15 Jan-3 Feb)

Is a one-woman play written by Anna Deveare Smith about the 1992 riots in Los Angeles following the Rodney King verdict. It is based on interviews Smith did with people connected directly and indirectly with the events.

 

There is no plot, and no set cast of characters. Rather, a single person delivers the monologue taken directly from interviews conducted following the events of 1992. These characters represent a range of personalities both big and small, and a range of backgrounds.

 

The themes of the play are unrest and lingering resentment over civil issues. The anger and hatred felt by many of the characters in the play over the treatment of black people in LA and the rest of the US, and the white community’s lack of concern over the plight of the inner city spills over in many of the dialogues. It is an unflinching look into the ways that race and economic status shape our experiences.

 

The monologues from a wide range of the community both black and white help to articulate and give an insight into the depth of feeling before, during and in the aftermath of the riots.

 

Below a few of the conversations that are presented in the production.

 

Elaine Brown is a former head of the Black Panther Party and bemoans the fact that the youth took to the street with no plan of action and behaved like a poorly led army.

 

Paul Parker is the chairperson for the Free the L.A. Four Plus Defense Committee. He claims that the nature of the defendants’ race meant that conviction was sought at any cost. He says that there will be no peace for whites while there is no justice for blacks.

 

The playwright also expresses hope for the future. The fear that many citizens experienced during the spillover of violence will hopefully lead to future reconciliations and attempts to be more understanding of different experiences and grievances.

 

The production is directed by Ola Prince whose directorial credits include being the 2016 Genesis Future Director Award winner and Artistic Associate at Lyric Hammersmith and Theatre Royal Stratford East.

 

Her acclaims include Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Porgy Bess (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Josephine & I (Bush Theatre) to name but a few.

 

With set design by award nominee for Best Set Designer in the Off West End, it promises to be a night of visually imaginative but riveting and sometimes angry and sometimes poignant nights entertainment.

 

15 Jan-3 Feb, Gate Theatre, £7.50+ www.gatetheatre.co.uk

 

  • Synopsis from www.supersummary.com

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