Theatre

Review: White Pearl at Royal Court Theatre

White pearls don’t always favour…

Written by the multidisciplinary Thai-Australian artist Anchuli Felicia King, this hilarious theatrical comedy hits the stage at the right time. Bringing skin whitening products into the focus of current controversies around racism and brand ethics, here comedy and social reflection merge. Moreover, the play reflects on the intimidating power of the internet: the views of a single video can go from 3 to 3 million in just a few hours and, what is more frightening, the prestige of an international company can sink on that same boat. (Main image: Kanako Nakano, Momo Yeung)

Clearday™ is a cosmetic brand based in Singapore and outrageously famed in Asia. However, its reputation is seriously damaged when a draft of its latest product advert is mysteriously leaked on YouTube.
“White Pearl” the company’s latest skin whitening cream, seems to be raising blisters on social media due to its advert’s racist humour: how is the black community seen in China or Japan? And so, the countdown to stop an irreparable explosion of rage begins, both outside and inside the company’s doors…

White Pearl_Production_Helen Murray42
Kae Alexander credit Helen Murray

Anchuli’s “White Pearl” is an original piece with humour and reflective tones, and its live staging is brilliant. A highly entertaining plot meets with the cast delivering a wide range of surreal situations, funny conversations and out bursting characters, most of them ironically from different parts of the world. Furthermore, the technical team also satisfies the strictest spectators when it comes to lightning, music, costumes, stage management…. helping to build up the urgency of the story.

Director: Nana Dakin
Cast: Kae Alexander, Farzana Dua Elahe, Arty Froushan, Katie Leung, Kanako Nakano, Minhee Yeo, Momo Yeung
Venue: The Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, London SW1W 8AS
Dates: from Friday 10 May to Saturday 15 June
Price: £12 – £95
All photos credited to Helen Murray

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