We sit in the darkness and listen to a voice. A warm soothing voice asking us to experience the darkness from whence we all come. The darkness of which we are all part. But in the light how do we see black – more specifically black people.
Against the back drop of an interactive carnival, Funny Women Awards Winner Desiree Burch becomes the Ring Master and skilfully takes us through a potted history of Black American slavery, and then asks us to step right up and hit the race-o-meter to see how far we have come.
It’s fun, and funny but not always comfortable – it’s clear Desiree doesn’t want us to get too comfortable with our “post racial” society – because at the heart of this show is her belief that racism is “the great unfixable”.
In this 90 minute tour de force, we are on the side lines witnessing the effect of institutionalised racism, the obstacles for black women trying to be accepted into the world of academia, and not getting acting roles because you’re not black enough.
Desiree brings together the political and personal, and it is rare to see a performer openly bare her soul, with such humour, passion and intelligence. In a beautiful moment she asks a male member of the audience to dance with her…. not a black women, not an American woman but a women – a beautiful human being. Racism, says Desiree, is about turning someone else into an object.
TAR BABY shines a light onto the darkness of our own prejudices and preconceptions, and acknowledges that change isn’t easy, and that there is still a long way to go.
Desiree Burch gives a breath taking honest, funny and moving performance in her critically acclaimed show. Don’t miss it.
Tar Baby premieres at The Vault 10th February 8.30pm. For more information click here!