Red Ladder Theatre presented the timely one intense My Voice Was Heard, But It Was Ignored at The Hub at St Mary’s.

My Voice Was Heard But It Was Ignored. Picture: Ant Robling

The play, written by the talented Nana-Kofi Kufuor, featured powerful performances by Misha Duncan Barry as teacher Gillian and Jelani D’Aguilar as pupil Reece. 

The story follows the dynamic as Reece locks Gillian in a classroom after she saw him arrested by police the night before.

The language used throughout was strong, but so was the action, with a soundtrack of confusion, police sirens and street sounds, orchestrated by Tayo Akinbode, and strong lighting and production design, setting the scene as both a classroom and a prison cell.

The action starts with Gillian and Reece addressing the audience, their dialogue overlapping, choreographed to show the differences in their experiences with racism.

Although they have both suffered throughout their lives, they have experienced it in different ways. Reece is a young man, trying to find his way in the world, but knowing that the odds are stacked against him. Gillian experiences it every day at school, the snide comments from pupils and from teachers build up.

As Gillian’s life is developed in the story, they become more than teacher and pupil, each learning from the other, their individual experiences adding to the tapestry of what it means to be human right now.

The themes of belonging to something while being seen as something other are well explored in a play that could have turned into a lecture. It is a testament to the strength of the script and the acting that it avoids the traps that the play could have easily have fallen into.

“The ending was devastating and the silence that followed showed the power of the play and the performances.

“Good theatre should lead to robust discussions about society, and hopefully, My Voice Was Heard, But It Was Ignored will do just that.

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