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Review: “The Architect” at the Greenwich+Docklands International Festival

Review: “The Architect” at the Greenwich+Docklands International Festival

Don’t miss this immersive theatrical journey through time and a city with “The Architect,” a groundbreaking production conceived by Mojisola Adebayo, Roy Williams, and Matthew Xia. This unique experience brings together a collective of leading Black artists, including #BolaAgbaje, #DexterFlanders, Vanessa Macauley, and XANA, to create a powerful narrative.

The Architect, Photo David Levene

“The Architect” takes audiences on a captivating journey aboard an iconic red bus across South-East London. It weaves together countless stories that span generations, celebrating the passage of time and carving out historical moments that resonate deep within your soul.

Danielle Kassarate – Female Lover Daniel Ward – Male Lover Dalumuzi Moyo – Photo by David Levene 6/9/23

The talented actors on the bus deliver a performance that is at times light-hearted and jovial, skilfully blending humour with poignant storytelling. At the heart of it all is a mother (Doreen Blackstock) who simply wants her son to break free from stereotypes and not to “stand out”.

The Architect Llewella Gideon – The Conductor
Photo David Levene 6/9/23

She passionately and knowingly declares, “I want the world to be kind to my baby.” Her baby being a “little black boy” that grows up to be a “black man”. A man whose skin will ultimately define him. The world watched the demise of George Floyd as he called for his mother, had the “world” been kind to him…… and to Stephen………. and so many others. I think “we” all want the world to be kind to our boys!!

The Architect, Cast: Karl Collins – The Architect Photo David Levene 6/9/23

Additionally, the play explores the journey of two teenage boys as they navigate the city, grappling with the idea that “they might stand out” and wrestling with the complexities of first love.

The Architect, Boy 1 Omar Austin – Boy 2 Dalumuzi Moyo Photo by David Levene 6/9/23

Llewella Gideon, in her role as The Conductor, provides a constant thread throughout the narrative. Her natural comedic timing shines, and she delivers crucial reminders about the world we live in, stating unequivocally, “this is no boat, no plane to Rwanda.”.

This exceptional production is brought to you by the Actors Touring Company and GDIF, in association with the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation. @sldayfdn

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The stellar cast includes:

  • Karl Collins as The Architect
  • Llewella Gideon as The Conductor
  • Danielle Kassarate as Female Lover
  • Daniel Ward as Male Lover
  • Dalumuzi Moyo as Boy 1
  • Omar Austin as Boy 2
  • Doreene Blackstock as A Mother
  • Shayde Sinclair as Niece

Accompanied by a 1993-infused soundtrack and featuring a bit of a #stormzy song, “The Architect” promises an unforgettable journey through time and the heart of London. The sentiment of the play is very much architecture speaks “If you can imagine it, you can build it, if we can’t imagine it, we can’t plan it.

“The Architect” pays homage to the voice of youth and commemorates Stephen Lawrence, asking vital questions about how we create a blueprint for the future, three decades after the senseless murder of Stephen Lawrence. If this plays tells us anything it is we still have a lot of building to do. Runs until 10th Sept: