The stories we repeatedly tell ourselves are imperative to how we navigate life. Our school years our most formative when it comes to setting the foundations for what we’ll possibly expect in later life. An exploration of the ever moving stream of subtle messages planted within childhood, Crying in the Wilderness’ Conundrum observedly tackles the process of continual external messaging vs the internalising of such stimuli.
Fascinated by the complex world of the mind, Fidel (Anthony Ofoegbu) dreams of a career within the medical field, every spare moment within childhood used to revise for upcoming lessons and tests. Equipped with the know how and an unrivalled passion for the field of the neurological, it is clear systemic barriers stand in the way of him pursuing his ideal role. Brought up with the realisation that he’d have to work ten times harder than his counterparts. Fast forward on to later life when this need to work that much harder translates into constant confrontations of ‘you’re overqualified’ within rejection letters, and having to deal with a society not accepting of him.
Paul Anthony Morris’ honest work bravely explores the psychological realm of a Black Briton, from the messages picked up from childhood in the 70s up until the present day, Fidel confronted with his own mental health and state, grappling with the hostile environment he’s surrounded by. Morris’ abstract approach, much like how the brain works, a powerful signature of the evening, painful lines echoing throughout, a white chalked floored staged automatically drawing the eye – an immediate reference to Fidel’s primary school experience but a mimicking of the constant stream of thoughts he has. Ofoegbu filling in blank spots with neurological terms incredibly powerful – such an honour to watch an inventive piece of work such as this! A thought provoking, and relatable evening.
Review written by Lucy Basaba.
Conundrum is currently showing at the Young Vic until Friday 4th February 2022. To find out more about the production, visit here…