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'An Octoroon' review or 'What do you think about this exposure?'

An Octoroon, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins The Orange Tree Theatre, 24th May 2017


I’ve taken a little break from theatre recently but I was so happy to be back last night. Here is the place that offers you comfort and says – ‘We are Here’ – but also takes you by the shoulder, shakes and hurts you. Here is the place that says ‘I understand’ but also says: ‘You know nothing.’
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins plays do all of these things and then some. We should be seeing so much more of his plays over here and – finally – we are. This is the European premiere of his 2014 Obie-winner ‘An Octoroon’ and, next month, it’s ‘Gloria’ at Hampstead Theatre. Go. This man makes theatre and his audience buzz and smile, think and cry in all the ways that great theatre can.
‘An Octoroon’ is a reframing of Dion ‘London Assurance’ Boucicault’s ‘The Octoroon’, a fairly nutty 19th century melodrama set on a plantation in Louisiana. The central plot – about an idealistic plantation heir who falls in love with an Octoroon (s…

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