Lava by Benedict Lombe; The Bush Theatre; 9 July – 7 August; from £20
The world premiere of Lava by Congolese-British writer Benedict Lombe opens at the Bush Theatre on 9 July.
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Lava started life in 2020 as part of the Bush Theatre’s The Protest Series: a digital artistic response to the murder of George Floyd. It has now been re-imagined as a full-length play for the stage, which ‘Could become our era’s equivalent of Athol Fugard’s Sizwe Bansi Is Dead’ – The Independent.
This is nice, init? I like it. Good little set-up to tell you the story of my name. The story of my true name.
When a woman receives an unexpected letter from the British Passport Office, she is forced to confront an old mystery: why does her South African passport not carry her first name? Armed with the wisdom of favourite 90s TV shows, she sets out on a journey that will take her back to the turmoil of Mobutu’s Congo, growing up in post-Apartheid South Africa, moving to Ireland, and finding love in a hostile England.
As her journey becomes inextricably linked with the tides of global history, how far will she go to unravel the truth? By turns wickedly funny and strikingly lyrical, Benedict Lombe’s Lava is an explosive debut that will turn the way you see the world on its axis.
Benedict Lombe is a Congolese-British writer and theatre-maker based in London. She has been on attachment at The Bush Theatre and has been on a residency at Theatre503 as one of their five writers for 2019/2020. She has produced digital work for the Bush as part of The Protest season, Papatango Theatre Company as part of their Isolated but Open series, and a site-specific piece as part of Damsel Productions’ Outdoors season. She has been part of the BBC Writersroom cohort, has been shortlisted for the Papatango Playwriting Award and the Royal Court & Kudos TV Fellowship, amongst others. Lava will be her London theatre debut.
She is currently working on developing original TV projects, with a focus on boldly reclaiming diasporic stories that were never allowed to be told, with the full shades of nuance and truth they always deserved.
Lava – Online is streaming worldwide from 16 – 21 August. This broadcast of a previously filmed live show will begin promptly at 7.30 pm GMT (matinee performances at 2.30 pm on 18 and 21 August). The film will be available to watch for 48 hours following the chosen performance. Lava – Online can be viewed on a web browser, via Google Chromecast, or on Apple TV, Android TV, or Amazon Fire TV.