The MixRace Mix Tape @ Rich Mix (Certain Blacks Heroes Festival) Review

We all walk our own paths, scenarios encountered – shaped by societal norms and who we are physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. The term ‘intersectionality’ something that has become part of the zeitgeist, a term that perfectly captures what it is to be human in this world of constructs. Exploring their personal journey of navigating how the world deals with their sexuality, race, class and gender – performer John Paul Zaccarini presents The MixeRace Mix Tape, a resonant, unapologetic live playlist that speaks to today.

Courtesy of Sarah Hickson.

Forming a quarter of newly recognised National Portfolio Organisation, Certain BlacksHeroes Festival, The MixRace Mix Tape crafts a supportive, safe space for introspection. An honest, welcoming hour, Zaccarini delivers a tongue in cheek yet ferocious set of spoken word pieces designed to examine the unsaid and hopefully from that, evoke a response within us as to how we navigate the topics explored. His mixtape comprising of the following titles – Busy Day at the IntersectionWhiteBoy Bubblegum (extract)Inner Cissy BluesThe PassBrother, Sister, drawing on self acceptance and how within that, that has created a potent ripple effect that has impacted people differently – encounters had with masculine energies/toxic masculinity that attempt to minimise acceptance of his queer identity insightful, his ability to flip the situation around so that he becomes the more powerful figure within the room empowering. Growing up in 80s/90s London, amid racial divisions with a knowing of who he is, endearing to hear – although heartbreaking to listen to the silent battle had in light of societal norms. The questioning of allyship – how for some, is merely a performative notion compared to those who genuinely care, who fight for causes without the performance, a fascinating provocation that further asks for us all to think about the roles we play in building a better tomorrow.

Resonant images of childhood, cityscapes, and ultimately Zaccarini today – embracing his own sexuality at 41 a powerful statement that plays out behind him as he speaks to us, his own journey of learning who he is incredibly relatable and necessary and hopefully one that’ll inspire others to do the same. I picture this mixtape structure defining early 21st century theatre making, a format resonant with the Millenial/Gen Z generation in our Spotify/ITunes curated playlist modern world.

Written by Lucy Basaba.

The MixRace Mix Tape was shown on Saturday 4th February 2023 as part of this year’s Certain Blacks’ Heroes Festival at Rich Mix. To find out more about the production, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop