Facing the potential prospect of deportation to an environment once fled in the hope of achieving a better quality of life must be one of the most distressing experiences an individual could go through. To have your concept of ‘home’ shaken by the very land in which you were born in, a devastating reality for many; as is evident with the shocking revalations of the Windrush Scandal. The term ‘home’ although seemingly simple, a complex one. Tolu Agbelusi’s Ilè La Wá delves into this multifaceted term, drawing out underrepresented crucial conversations that currently echo within the macrocosm.
Agbelusi produces an environment whereby four strangers question eachother’s identities as well as their own. Detained after a random spot check in London, the next eighty minutes offer an insight into the frustration felt by these individuals. Agbelusi successfully transfers this need to constantly validate one’s right to live within the UK within this confined space. Each character explaining why the UK is home to them and what home means to them. Part anecdotal, part conversational with eachother and with the audience, Agbelusi helps to foster an air of authenticity – the simplistic staging consisting of four chairs contained within a square confined space places an importance on the ambiguous situation ahead.
Characters band together and clash as they all inevitably await their fates. Damilola Fashola’s Ellie a product of the ‘dog eat dog’ financial world. So consumed with her rise to the top, she’s content that her relentless work ethic will inevitably determine her right to stay in the UK. Ellie could be perceived as the evening’s villain, however Agbelusi starts to explore exactly why Ellie acts the way she does, and it’s this that really broadens perceptions of black British identity. Ellie, compared to Tapiwa (Mamito Kukwikila), Ronu (Winston Sarpong) and Sasha (Agbelusi) evokes a differing perspective, usually causing the clashes amongst the group. Agbelusi is able to start exploring the complexity of individual circumstances, this being something that can be explored further. Anni Domingo directs a subtle piece that leaves the audience thinking about identity – what defines one’s identity? What does ‘home’ mean? 3/5
Review written by Lucy Basaba.
Ilè La Wá was shown from Thursday 21st until Saturday 23rd June 2018. To find out more about the production, visit here…