Review: The Death of a Black Man (Hampstead Theatre)
Alfred Fagon's play makes a triumphant return to Hampstead 46 years on from its debut
Oliver Ainley, wHATSoNsTAGE
'Director Dawn Walton has said that what attracted her to The Death of a Black Man is the scarcity of Alfred Fagon productions, despite the praise his writing garners. Whilst there is little doubt that tonight's audience will be travelling home googling other British theatres staging the playwright's work, they will have to achieve something spectacular to match this production.
It says a great deal that the entire cast of Nickcolia King-N'da, Natalie Simpson and Toyin Omari-Kinch more than do justice to Fagon's writing. The Death of a Black Man puts its three characters, Shakie, Jackie and Stumpie, through a lot over the course of two hours but in Fagon's hands these arcs never seem rushed or contrived. The downfall within one Chelsea flat is as realistic as it is gripping...'
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The Death of a Black Man nowplays on the Main Stage until 10 July