The title of the play says it all: if an extraordinary giant like the elephant can be overlooked in a crowded room, what other truisms could be set apart?
Certainly, “elephant in the room” is a metaphor for an obvious truth everyone knows but agrees not to talk about. And that’s what Michael is going through in this story.
The one and only character of this dance theatre solo, brilliantly played by Lanre Malaolu who created this unique idea based his own personal experiences, is a young working-class black guy from Hackney who is not going through an easy time at all. Yes, he is physically fit and quite a sociable person that volunteers in the local football club, but his empowering speeches, day-to-day conversations and morning clock alarms are losing their positive strength minute after minute.
Michael is suffering from a mental health crisis and needs to address it as soon as possible. But how can he? His friends are not properly listening to him, a mind professional downplays the issue, the neighbourhood’s barber and his football team seem too young to understand. And precisely that is what’s making Michael lose his track.
Through catchy hip hop music, exceptional body moves and a neat interpretation, Lanre Malaolu raises very important questions about the way society addresses mental health issues, still considered taboos, and also the way race, class and culture choose to address them. Featured in an intimate space at Camden’s People Theatre, this one-hour piece will take you to the furthest corners of the mind and the most profound depths of the heart.
Do not miss it!
Camden People’s Theatre, 58-60 Hampstead Rd, Kings Cross, London NW1 2PY
From Tu 2 April to Sat 20 April, 19:15pm
Tickets at £12 (£10 conc.): to buy tickets, call Box Office at +44 207 419 4841 or visit link.
Elephant in the Room team
Creator and performer: #LanreMalaolu; Dramaturge: Season Butler; Composer and live sound operator: Jan Brzezinski; Set and Costume Design: Stella Backman; Lighting Design: Sherry Coenen; Production Manager: Christopher Silvester; Producer: Lydia Wharf