London’s theatre scene is experiencing something of a renewal. A lot of smaller production companies have been coming out with rather decent content that is relevant to parts of our society that are usually not catered to. As such, there is a range of stories being told that reflect the true nature of the capital’s demographic. Bush Theatre, located at Shepherds Bush, is one of such venues within the English capital telling such stories. I was introduced to the Bush Theatre sometime in 2017. A series of short performances titled ‘Black Lives, Black Words’ was on show and it was there that I first witnessed Arinze Kene, a name you must pay close attention to going forward; wonderful things seem to happen when he is around.
One of such wonderful things is Misty – currently at the Bush Theatre until the 21st of April (now extended till the 27th). Misty is an enthralling production which explores the internal and external conflicts a writer, Arinze, playing himself, wrestles with as he attempts to put in words the story he longs to tell. It is a story which navigates some of the changing environments we find ourselves in and one that is particularly poignant considering the current economic and political climate within the capital.
Arinze is a fantastically clever storyteller and a delightfully consummate performer. He sings, dances, and speaks poetry in ways that seemed to be invoking great artists like the likes of Gill Scott Heron and Bob Marley. There is also the intricately clever use of lighting which often had me wondering what the show would look like on film; such is the versatility contained within the performance. Everything is carefully woven into the beautiful fabric that this play becomes; the caricatured voice of an older sibling, a voice recorder, an invasive crew member, all intricately put together to create the melodic harmony that exudes from the performance and for a couple of hours nothing else is worth your attention.
Let me be clear, Misty is not a song, but it is so well crafted that it flows as though it were one. I wish I could say more and gush every spoiler possible but that would be an unkindness this production does not deserve. Misty is best seen in person.
Author: Xafia Fransour