While streams are few and far between at the moment, Seabright Prductions are in the middle of releasing four brand new streamed titles, all filmed recently at Wilton's Music Hall. Following last weeks A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad), the second title has now been released.
Black Is The Colour of My Voice has played sell-out seasons in Shanghai, New York, Edinburgh and at London’s Trafalgar Studios. Written and performed by Apphia Campbell, the piece is inspired by the life of Nina Simone. Through the show, we go through Nina's life, as told by herself - through all the struggles, success and tragedy she faced and how she came to be at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement.
With nobody else sharing the stage with her, Campbell keeps the audience captivated throughout the show with a beautiful mix of dialogue and song. Powerful speeches are delivered effortlessly by Campbell, who channels every ounce of emotion out of the hardships Nina faced growing up. These are interspersed by a smattering of Nina Simone's most timeless and enduring classics throughout the story, with Cambell performing fantastic renditions of 'I Loves You, Porgy', 'I Put A Spell On You' and 'Feeling Good'.
Themes of racism are paramount in the journey Nina faces as a Civil rights activist, with her powerful lyrics sending the message. In ways, this was reminiscent of the recent movie The United States Vs Billie Holiday. While the world has come a long way since the time Black Is The Colour of my Voice is set, recent events have shown there is still so much more work to be done, and makes the message and the struggles Nina face all the more relevant and emotional to watch.
A simple stage accompanies Campbell who makes use of simple props - but she doesn't need anything to accompany her. Her charisma and talent is enough to carry the show by itself. With direction from Arran Hawkins and Nate Jacobs and lighting design by Clancy Flynn, the relatively small space is transformed miraculously and goes to show the versatility and power of a great stage production.
Black Is The Colour of my Voice is a must watch for any fans of Nina Simone or fans of great storytelling. If you are unfamiliar with the story, this is a great education and reminder of how far we have come but how much further we still have to go. A brilliantly told story, effortlessly performed by a wonderful talent, this is a show that is surely destined for bigger stages and wider audiences in the near future.
Black Is The Colour of my Voice is available to stream at https://www.stream.theatre/season/159 until Sunday 18th July.
Later this month, Seabright Productions will stream FRIEND (The One With Gunther) and Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope all on https://stream.theatre. Look out for reviews of those titles here over the coming weeks.