|Articles, Arts, Literary/Artistic Criticism, New Media, United Kingdom on 2013-10-20 21:54Z by Steven|
Alan Franks, Senior Reviewer
Adult supervision, if you remember, is what Barack Obama said Washington needed. This was back in 2006, two years before his election as forty-fourth president of the US, and the first black incumbent of the office. So there could hardly be a more timely moment than now for a play bearing his words as its title, with America once more squeezing through one of its congressional crises which baffle the world with their apparent childishness.
What’s more, Sarah Rutherford’s play is set on that giddy evening five years ago when the votes were counted, the unthinkable happened and a black American family prepared to move into the White House. So the joyful political liberation plays out as a running backdrop to the get-together of the four youngish women on whom we are here to eavesdrop. More a frontdrop actually, since the TV is situated on the fourth wall, which means they gawp and whoop at us as the results of the count come in. It is as if we are making our own fleeting guest appearances at the unfolding drama.
Our hostess is the controlling Natasha, lawyer turned full-time mother who loses no opportunity for trumpeting the moral virtue of her career shift. Her children are a statement in their own right; she is white and they are black, the fruits of an adoption mission to Ethiopia. One of her guests is the angry Mo, whose husband is black; another is Issy, Natasha’s supposed best friend; the third, and only black woman is the heavily pregnant Angela. In Natasha’s patronising, or matronising vision, the four of them are bonded by their commitment to mixed-race progeny…
Read the review here.