Maud @ The Crescent (Vault Festival 2023) Review

The 23rd February just recently marked the 3rd anniversary of Ahmaud ‘Maud’ Arbery’s tragic passing, a 25 year old aspiring football player who was out on his usual run, something that he enjoyed to do and something his mother recalls in memoriam of his legacy before being shot in a racially aggravated attack. 3 years on and three defendants have since been prosecuted for that fateful day. We’ve seen the world rocked by protest and calls for change, especially in light of subsequent events that year, with this particular case having seen the first hate crimes bill drafted in Georgia. But there’s still a lengthy way to go. Drawing on this harrowing incident, writer Jeffrey Miller crafts the show Maud, a decades-long look at the prevalent issue of race within the US, centred on Ahmaud ‘Maud’ Arbery’s death, described by his family as a modern day lynching.

Returning back to Ahmaud Arbery’s story throughout, Perry Williams and Jeffrey Miller take us on a thorough journey of the US’s complex relationship with race – provocative televisual conversations had going back to the 60s, James Baldwin’s powerful speech given whilst debating William F. Buckley at Cambridge in 1965, all harrowing echoes that resound decades later. An evening crafted from the real life transcripts of those directly involved with Arbery’s passing, and prolific figures whether revered or loathed who have weighed in on the topic of race from the civil right’s era, Miller inventively pieces together an intricate play, presenting a mighty hour that leaves you walking away and clutching onto segments that you resonate with most.

A snapshot of a speech given by then president Donald Trump, video footage of the last moments of the fateful day, of the suspects on the scene being questioned by the police, their supposed reasoning as to why they did what they did, testimonies from the trial and from both Arbery’s mother and sister greatly tackle the scope of what happened. Williams and Miller able to perfectly impersonate the vast range of characters featured expertly. An incredibly timely piece of theatre that delves deeper into deeply entrenched systematic issues.

Written by Lucy Basaba.

Maud was shown from Tuesday 21st until Saturday 25th February 2023 at the Crescent/Vault Festival. To find out more about the production, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop