I saw a version of Les Blancs back in 2001 and it was pretty incomprehensible, but you can’t say that about Yael Farber’s quite extraordinary, at times almost hallucinatory staging that premiered at the NT in 2016 and which boasts some eye-catching performance including from Shelia Atim and Danny Sapani. Lorraine Hansberry’s play, began after A Raisin in the Sun, and unfinished at the time of her death in 1965, has been newly stitched together from drafts to create a haunting meditation on the long term legacy of British colonial policies in Africa. That, and the way it emphasises the way black histories are hidden from view and rewritten by white history books, makes it very topical. But it’s a theatrical feast too, a delight for both eye and ear. In the theatre it was also a pleasure for the nose and while the screening won’t be able to bring you that aspect, it can highlight the pain of an Africa finding freedom and peace hard to achieve because of the scars of colonialism.
An African country teeters on the edge of civil war. A society prepares to drive out its colonial present and claim an independent future. Tshembe, returned home from England for his father’s funeral, finds himself in the eye of the storm. Yaël Farber (Mies Julie, Nirbhaya) directs the final play by Lorraine Hansberry (A Raisin in the Sun): a brave, illuminating and powerful work that confronts the hope and tragedy of revolution. This archive recording was captured by the National Theatre in 2016.