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5 September, 2019

The brilliance of this complex performance is in the simplicity of presentation.

SS Mendi: Dancing the Death Drill is a very powerful and moving performance interspersed with light-hearted moments that boost the spirit. It is the story of the final voyage of the SS Mendi from South Africa to Britain and its African crew. The performance depicts the conflicts and struggles between cultures not only between Britain and Africa but also between the various cultures within Africa. Unity and acceptance of cultural differences become important themes between the members of volunteer African crew so that they are better able to endure the harsh conditions on board.

The performance is complex in the merging of story telling, acting, singing, dancing and sound effects which are all achieved solely by the performers on stage. The stage design, costuming and props add to the atmosphere of life on board the ship. The power and richness of the African music and dance is absolutely wonderful.

The performers are powerful having a strong stage presence and utilising excellent choreography against a realistic but very minimal backdrop.

The brilliance of this complex performance is in the simplicity of presentation which emits powerful emotion.

I would most certainly recommend it to anyone and would be very keen to see it again.