WhatsOnStage Logo

Black Slap

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
WhatsOnStage logo
Set backstage before and during a performance of The Black and White Minstrel Show just after Harold Wilson's Labour government came to power in to 1964, Black Slap gently interrogates the way that the differences between people – whether of colour, intellect, sexuality, gender or class - affect their relationships.

Pyrex, an ambitious young black man, finds himself in the arguably awkward (or according to his sister, morally dubious) position of being dresser to four white men who perform every evening in black face. He is brighter than the lot of them, doing the job to put himself through a psychology degree, and proving amazingly resilient to the grinding racism of 1960s Britain.

It is only when news comes down from above that the company have been asked to take part in the Royal Variety Performance in a few weeks' time, but that the more 'eccentric' members of the cast will be excluded, that it becomes clear that Pyrex is not the only character struggling in a society quick to condemn anyone who strays from the norm.

The secret behind the success of this enjoyable play is the subtlety with which challenging issues are broached, as well several strong performances from the very able cast. 


Tagged in this Story