That feeling of getting over the towering walls of the British border, of arriving to that mystical place everyone back home talks and dreams about and entering the strange new world of tea breaks, advanced public transport systems and a functional minimum wage; it’s amazing.
I hope you’re not thinking you’ve already reached the end line though, because it takes much more than arriving to make it here. In fact, you’re in luck because I know just the people to school you not only in the most sophisticated tactics to survive in 21st Century London, but most importantly, how to not get deported. Residing in the Southbank Centre and as part of the Africa Utopia Festival 2015, which celebrates African culture, are Star Boy Productions, who give a passionate, inspiring and intensely funny talk about how to make it in the asphalt jungle of cranes, glass buildings and sophisticated capitalism.
This performance has a very unusual dynamic, a wonderfully immersive stand-up comedy spiced up with a theatric use of position and choreography. Our hosts for the evening, Nosa, Etuwe and Aloys, do not hesitate at all to engage the audience and involve them in the action, constantly addressing people with questions and prophetic statements.
The lively preachers have a very clear idea of what it is like to undergo the strains of adapting and surviving in Europe, which I know for a fact is personal experience since members of the company have encountered migration mobility problems before, and the situations they present have witty manipulation and understanding of subjects that everyone is aware of and comprehend. There is a considerable possibility that the show and gags could be predictable, but through a sturdy stage presence and a natural control of timing they manage to keep a constant flow of action and entertainment.
To people who know of the immigration situation but who are not as involved from a personal point of view, this is an entertaining way to humanise the subject in a way that only theatre and live performance can. The presentation of the show also happens to take place at a point in time in which this subject is crudely current and it is good to get the chance to see these type of situations and culture shocks immigrants may encounter by arriving in a crazy western city like ours. 4/5
Review written by Bryan Novelo.
Star Boy Productions was shown on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th September. Have a look at a teaser of the production here…