Misty, Trafalgar Studios | Review

Trafalgar Studios
Reviewed on Thursday 13th September 2018 by Olivia Mitchell

Misty is an outstanding, relevant, vibrant and moving piece of theatre written and performed by a theatrical genius. Arinzé Kene's use of spoken word, movement, rhythm and singing is masterful and makes you feel as though you are with him every step of his journey. 

Despite being in a formal setting of audience separate from the performer, this show feels immersive and the regular breaking of the fourth wall feels natural and fresh. It's evident that this show is so intricately planned, that it feels unplanned. We find ourselves constantly questioning whether an action was an accident but it soon becomes clear that everything is part of the beautifully woven fabric of the show.

The dual-narrative script written by Kene is a masterclass in effect. The balance between political/racial tensions, intensity and passion is perfectly found and combined with laugh out loud humour magnificently. The structure of the entire piece is so exhilarating and exactly what the West End needs right now.

Kene is one of the most deft storytellers I have ever encountered. The way he captivates the audience and wraps us around his finger with a faultless intensity and honesty is an impeccable thing to witness. His performance pulls together a number of theatrical/storytelling devices which create a visceral performance that gives visibility to crucial issues that constantly need addressing. The fact that this is only the second black British play to be in the West End is enough to show that change is needed and I sincerely hope and believe that Misty will reach those that are able to influence change and will be a step towards opening conversations that will lead to positive outcomes.

The stunning performance of Kene is accompanied by incredibly deft musicians: Shiloh Coke and Adrian McLeod. The lighting (Jackie Shemesh), sound (Elena Peña) and video (Daniel Denton) are all part of creating the perfect package of Misty

Misty is unique, theatrical perfection, written and performed by a master of his craft. This show needs to be seen and experienced. Don't miss it.

Misty runs at Trafalgar Studios until 20th October 2018

photo credit: Helen Murray

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