THEATRE REVIEW: BLACK SUPERHERO starring Lewis Brown, Dyllon Burnside & Rochenda Sandall at Royal Court Theatre

By Aline Mahrud


WHEN?: Saturday 22 April (matinee), running to 29 April 2023 RUNTIME: 130 minutes (including a 20-minute interval)

Leading man Lewis Brown took over from writer/star Danny Lee Wynter midway through this run after the creator withdrew for personal reasons and it’s all credit to this production that you could never tell.

  • Read on for reasons including how we’re looking forward to playwright Wynter’s next role and written work

We saw the 1st half of this play on 15 April but decided to leave at the interval because the view from our front row seats was partially obscured by a curious elevated stage thrust into the audience and the venue staff had little interest in offering us alternatives.

We returned a week later several rows back and the 2nd half of the play was actually far less interesting than the 1st which had intrigued us enough that we had wanted to return despite the problems with the seating.

Brown plays David a struggling actor with a close knit group of actor friends who include his sister who he performs with at children’s parties and King, played by Dyllon Burnside from TV’s Pose, who plays the titular BLACK SUPERHERO on celluloid.

Rochenda Sandall as the sister is rude, outspoken and the reason to see the show with most of its best lines including our favourite: ”Maria Von Trapp didn’t have to deal with Redbridge Council.’

The play meanders as we meet David’s black and mixed race friends and the conversation covers a huge amount of politically charged ground debating topics such as gay actors playing gay, the importance of representation of race and whether platforming is a responsibility or a nice-to-have.

King has an open relationship with his white husband and David is drawn into a sexual relationship with the BLACK SUPERHERO making us wonder why he is objectifying such a self-obsessed actor as his saviour in such a stereotypical role.

The 2nd half delves more deeply into David’s complicated relationship with his father after the arrival of Ako Mitchell (Bonnie and Clyde, Arts Theatre) sparking difficult scenes as a straight-acting producer who is married to a woman yet faces potential charges of sexually assaulting a younger man.

It’s diverting, occasionally very funny in its 1st half especially when Sandall’s acerbic sister is present, thought-provoking but ultimately we couldn’t help but wonder at its close exactly what the point of it all was?

It was Wynter’s debut play and we wish him well in the future, hope he can resume in this role again soon should he want to and look forward to seeing his next work which will perhaps be a little more focussed than his promising yet flawed 1st effort.

  • Main picture via Facebook courtesy Royal Court Theatre Tickets
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