A melting pot of differing cultures, London has to be one of the most exciting and inclusive cities in the world. A city that thrives on the integrating of cultures, this offers a basis for inclusion and enlightenment. Certain Blacks Harlem Festival embodies these principles, Veronica Thompson‘s Flights of Fancy adding its distinct sense of fun to the line up!
Thompson from the get go establishes an environment built on fun and comedy. Set aboard an airline, she humourously supplies airline refreshments, dashing packets of Mini Cheddars to members of the audience. Thompson makes it clear that the next 60 minutes are not to be solitary, rather, it is to be a conversation between performer and audience.
On board an indirect flight departing from Korea, via Seattle, final destination-London, Thompson maps out her journey from being an orphan, to being adopted by an American family, to currently residing in Dalston. Thompson’s life story is extraordinary, easily lending itself to a one woman show serious in tone, Flights of Fancy subverts convention and instead sheds light on the more positive moments.
Part cabaret, part comedy show, Flights of Fancy is representative of Thompson’s free spirited nature. From a feisty flight attendant, to a sultry club dancer, to a globe trotting adventurer – the show is chameleonic, again representative of Thompson’s care free nature, taking each day as it comes. The show touches on race, politics and identity. A skit of Thompson as Kim Jong Un’s wife satirically comments on North Korea’s out of touchness. A video clip of Thompson taking on the role of a fashion vlogger filming a make up tutorial pokes fun at beauty ideals within Korean culture. A Sesame Street-style clip with a purple Cookie Monster inspired puppet challenges cultural assumptions. These skits all fun examples of Thompson’s trademark tongue in cheek manner of tackling topical issues.
Flights of Fancy is unique, it’s ambitious in its themes and intentions. This works for and against it, Thompson has an engaging story to tell, however structurally the show starts to delve into certain topics which aren’t fully realised. 3/5
Review written by Lucy Basaba.
Flights of Fancy was shown at Rich Mix on Sunday 10th September as part of the Certain Blacks Harlem Festival. For more information on the production, visit here…
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