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Twilight: Los Angeles 1992 (Review) Twilight: Los Angeles 1992 (Review)
Twilight: Los Angeles 1992 (Review)

Your ticket is a sticker on which you to write your name and also to put any question you would like to ask on it too. I was a bit confused as to what exactly my question would be about so I was intrigued already.

 

This play is about the beating of Rodney King in 1992, the riot that ensued,1992 the murder of the 15 year old Latasha Harlins by the Korean shop owner Soon Ja Du in1991.

 

It is a one woman show performed admirably by NIna Bowers and is directed by Ola Ince, who previous works include Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Porgy Bess (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Josephine & I (Bush Theatre) to name but a few.

 

The stage is the theatre and we are sat around the actress as she performs. The play is 90 minutes with no interval well not an official one. It was so engaging that there was not a moment when I felt the need to look at my watch. Nina drives the piece through with great energy.

 

It is not a script as such, the writer Anna Deveare Smith, based it on the interviews she conducted after the events of 1992. In it Nina moves from male to female, people with power and little power in body stature as there are no costume changes.

From Korean to Puerto Rican accents and back to American all done with ease. It is an emotional piece because you know these are the words spoken by people directly and indirectly involved with the build up to and the riot itself.

 

Ola stage direction meant Nina filled the theatre with her use of the space moving from one corner of the room to the other, seated or standing next to an audience member.

 

During the performance Nina brought out a trolley and offers biscuits and invites the audience to make themselves either tea or coffee which we did, afterwards someone asked if it was for real.

 

A 10 minute digital countdown was put up so we knew how long we had before the performance resumed. Clever.

 

Projection was used to give information throughout either to let us know whose voice Nina was representing or facts about events around that time.

 

There wasn’t really a message as such as the role in my view was to bring the light the complex human aspects of the riot and its aftermath and how so many stories and lives can be affected by one incident.

 

The obvious audience would be people in their late 30’s upwards as they would remember riots but younger people would also engage as it shows how little things have changed for African Americans regarding police brutality with usually little justice for the families of those involved.

 

Nina is a fantastic actress and this play is thought provoking, informative and should be seen.

 

Twilight: Los Angeles 1992 plays from 15 Jan-3 Feb, Gate Theatre, £7.50+ www.gatetheatre.co.uk

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