Gone too far!


Gone too far!

Review

Written by: Arun Kundnani


An award-winning play by first-time playwright Bola Agbaje, Gone too far!, explores Black identity in a clever, funny and very entertaining way.

‘Nigeria, England, America, Jamaica; are you proud of where you’re from? Dark-skinned, light-skinned, Afro, weaves, who are your true brothers and sisters? When two brothers from different continents go down the street to buy a pint of milk, they lift the lid on a disunited nation where everyone wants to be an individual but no one wants to stand out from the crowd.’

Based on Bola Agbaje’s experiences growing up on a south London council estate, the play does not deal directly with the racism of society and its institutions (although the patois-mimicking coppers got a few laughs), but it does deal convincingly with the reality of young people and the issues that concern them.

The action was fast and energetic. The young actors played convincing ‘rude’ boys and girls that you see everyday on your average inner-city estate. The stark stage mirrored the stark choices that young people face nowadays in a world hostile to their voices. The scenes were linked by dance moves and routines which made the play seem a fluid story, gathering pace and momentum as the suspense builds to a seemingly inevitable conclusion. The cast of mainly unknown young Black actors were – without exception – brilliant.

The play was written by London-based Nigerian playwright Bola Agbaje, who won the Young Writers Festival held by the Royal Court in 2007, seeing off competition from 400 others. She also won an Olivier Award for the play which was originally shown in February 2007 and has recently been revived. The play will end its run at the Royal Court on Saturday 9 August, but will go on to the Albany Theatre in Deptford (14-16 August) and the Hackney Empire (19-23 August). This play is highly recommended, go see it while you can.

Related links

Albany Theatre in Deptford

Hackney Empire


Kenan Malik's From Fatwa to Jihad: the Rushdie affair and its legacy was published by Atlantic Books, April 2009, £16.99.


The Institute of Race Relations is precluded from expressing a corporate view: any opinions expressed are therefore those of the authors.

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