Black Is The Colour Of My Voice

This powerful tale about a young singer, Mena Bordeaux, based on Nina Simone as she discovers her musical talent, wrestles with her past and considers her future as she spends three isolated days after the death of her father. Performed brilliantly by Apphia Campbell-who also wrote the piece- it is a stunning piece of work which manages to retain tension and attention throughout with a spellbinding score and dialogue.
Beginning with the young Mena’s realisation she was blessed with a musical gift enhanced by a love of Bach she is also extremely proud of her colour and her activism in the civil rights movement began at a tioung age when she demanded her parents be treated as equals at a school recital. This determination continues throughout her life and it even loses her the one true love, Stanley, who may have made her happy rather than pursuing a career which brought little happiness. Instead by forsaking love for success she ends up with a man who beats and rapes her and her personal struggle unfolds against a backdrop of civil unrest which is equally violent.
The music however saves Mena and the score and its delivery are outstanding: ‘Love Me or Leave Me’ ‘I Put a Spell on You’ and ‘It’s A New Day’ are just three highlights although interestingly her best known number-which Simone allegedly hated- ‘My Baby Just Cares For Me’ is absent.
Exquisitely performed and captivating throughout ‘Black is the Colour of My Voice’ is a worthwhile show and definitely one to catch.

Black Is the Colour of My Voice is showing everyday at The Gilded Balloon at 2.20pm until August 25th

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