Lucy Popescu’s theatre news: Report to an Academy; Hungry; Black is the Color of My Voice; 101 Dalmatians

Thursday, 7th July — By Lucy Popescu

Black is the color of my voice

Black is the Color of My Voice is at the King’s Head

FRANZ Kafka’s short story Report to an Academy, adapted for the stage by Gabriele Jakobi, is at the Old Red Lion Theatre until July 30. An intelligent ape, Red Peter, gets captured in a West Africa hunting expedition and is sent to Europe on a ship. On board, he endures excessive taunting and abuse. To survive, he learns to imitate the ship’s crew and their language from his cage and devises a brilliant escape. He survives and presents his fascinating tale of transformation to a leading scientific academy.

Hungry explores what we eat and who we love through a lens of class, queerness, cultural appropriation and gentrification. Chris Bush interrogates the age-old adage “you are what you eat” amid a backdrop of rising costs. Lori is a chef. Bex waits tables. One night in a walk-in fridge and the rest is history. Lori wants to teach Bex about the finer things in life, but what’s the point when the system is rigged? It’s at Soho Theatre from July 12-30.

• Apphia Campbell’s Black is the Color of My Voice, starring Florence Odumosu, is inspired by the life of Nina Simone and features many of her iconic songs. We follow a successful singer and civil rights activist as she seeks redemption after the untimely death of her father. She reflects on the journey that took her from a young piano prodigy destined for a life in the service of the church, to a renowned jazz vocalist at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement. King’s Head Theatre until July 10.

101 Dalmatians, adapted by Zinnie Harris from Dodie Smith’s classic, is at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre from July 12-August 28. When Cruella de Vil sets her sights on a new Dalmatian fur coat, there’s trouble ahead for Pongo, Perdi and their litter of puppies. This new musical adaptation by Douglas Hodge with book by Johnny McKnight is packed with puppetry.  

• Wayward Productions present live poem Soundwood and improvised musical The Fable of Able Stain for one night only at Union Chapel on July 9. Author Max Porter is joined by guests Fatima Bhutto, Nina Conti and Roger Robinson with music from rushes/esp. It’s billed as “an ensemble piece fused with image, text, improvised sound and storytelling in response to the country’s social, political, environmental, cultural, and emotional state”. / 020 7226 1686

Redemption, a play with music by James Meteyard and The Last Skeptik, explores themes of grief, trauma, family and forgiveness. We follow explosive Maz and her truth-telling bars as she rails at the world and runs from a life in care. Twenty-four-year-old Renaya Dennis will reprise her performance in the leading role. It’s at The Big House until August 13.

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