Southern Poetry Floods in; Listen Up: Ony Uhiara Plays Oya in in the Red and Brown Water, a Tale of Yoruban Mythology and Contemporary Black America, Played out on a Watery Stage

The Evening Standard (London, England), October 6, 2008 | Go to article overview

Southern Poetry Floods in; Listen Up: Ony Uhiara Plays Oya in in the Red and Brown Water, a Tale of Yoruban Mythology and Contemporary Black America, Played out on a Watery Stage


Byline: NICK CURTIS

THE BROTHERS Size introduced British audiences to a distinctive, intriguing new American voice in author Tarell Alvin McCraney when it was staged at the Young Vic last year. A richly layered, poetic tale of a Nigerian-American convict vacillating between going straight at his brother's garage, or accepting the insinuating temptations offered by his former cellmate, McCraney's debut play now returns to its original home in the Young Vic studio.

Simultaneously, his "fast and loose" and theatrically ambitious new work In the Red and Brown- Water takes over the theatre's main auditorium. While the Brothers Size will again be performed on a stage bare apart from a chalk circle and a heap of red dust, the new play indicates McCraney's willingness to toy with the conventions of stagecraft. The theatre's stage has, intriguingly, been flooded to a depth of 10 inches by designer Miriam Buether. Rehearsals have been taking place in a water tank.

Like The Brothers Size, In the Red and Brown Water fuses Yoruba mythology with the experiences of contemporary black Americans. It tells the tale of Oya, a young and promising athlete in Louisiana, forced to choose between her sporty ambitions and her sick mother, and later between two men. …

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Southern Poetry Floods in; Listen Up: Ony Uhiara Plays Oya in in the Red and Brown Water, a Tale of Yoruban Mythology and Contemporary Black America, Played out on a Watery Stage
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