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Blues for an Alabama Sky by Pearl Cleage plays on the National Theatre’s Lyttelton stage from 20 September until 5 November. Directed by Lynette Linton,

"New York, 1930. Following a decade of creative explosion, the Harlem Renaissance is starting to feel the bite of the Great Depression. In the face of hardship and dwindling opportunity, Angel and her friends battle to keep their artistic dreams alive. But, when Angel falls for a stranger from Alabama, their romance forces the group to make good on their ambitions, or give in to the reality of the time."

I had the pleasure of seeing this play twice. I was very impressed the first time around and when the opportunity presented itself to see it again, at Press Night, I leapt at the chance. It was a while since I had seen a play that really spoke to me. It was a very comfortable experience, with so many different aspects. 'Blues for an Alabama Sky' also created provocative thought, introspection, contemplation and even dilemma. Taking us into places which may have challenged our own moral compass at times. There were times when the subject matters challenged and ignited our emotions and emotional responses and reactions, sometimes emitting gasps from the audience, as ripples of shock waves. Other times to roars of laughter and heaving unashamed giggles. As a member of the audience I found myself subtly and comfortably caught up in it all, because the play was so mesmerising. The actors where very very good, portraying their characters so well, creating the feel, the ambience, so well that I felt I was part of the Harlem Renaissance, even on stage with them. Words I feel represented 'the everything of this play are ' captivating, thought-provoking, provocative, nostalgic. '

"What was the Harlem Renaissance in simple terms?

The Harlem Renaissance was a period of U.S. history marked by a burst of creativity within the African American community in the areas of art, music and literature. Centered within New York City's Harlem, the Harlem Renaissance began roughly with the end of World War I in 1918 and continued into the mid-1930s." Blues for an Alamaba Sky, touched on the many aspects of the times during the Harlem Renaissance. The play was a nostalgic journey into an era where on the one-hand it was a time of vibrancy and fresh innovation, there was a frivolity of creative expression that filled the air, everyone wanted to be somebody, to fulfil their dreams, to 'Make It'. The reference to Josephine Baker, the famous American-born French dancer, singer and actress, whose aspiration it was of the character Guy Jacobs, a Dress maker, played by Giles Terera, to get his garments seen and worn by Josephine and her dancers, alongwith the mention of Langston Hughes, the American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist, further created the ambiance of those times. Whilst in the background the subtly dulcet and sassy tones of the likes of Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, played.

The play touched on some very poignant and controversially social issues, which were often considered 'taboo' at the time i.e the right for women to have abortions, homosexuality and the acceptance or not of it, religion, faith - all the things that make this journey of us as human-beings.

Giles Terera who plays Guy and Ronkẹ Adékoluẹjo as Delia Patterson Giles Terera who plays Guy, a gay man, his performance is absolutely hilarious. Giles brings Guy to life in a wonderfully vivid way, his mannerisms are animated and captivating. His tongue-in-cheek humor and great theatrical expressions really engaged the audience.