Review: Sweet Like Chocolate Boy (Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol)

Images: Robert Sloetry

You ever look out of your estate and feel like there is something…beautiful here…but nobody’s happy enough to see it?

Sweet Like chocolate boy by tristan fynn-aiduenu

Back in November 2018, a group of young producers from Bristol’s Tobacco Factory Theatres went to London to see Sweet Like Chocolate Boy at the Jack Studio Theatre. They pitched it to the powers at the Tobacco Factory and it is now at the begining of a short tour and a four night run in Bristol. This is a insight into bold programming, canny producing and a dynamite piece of theatre.

The publicity plays heavily on Sweet Like Chocolate Boy being a celebration of Black British Culture from the 90’s onwards. Taking its name from the Shanks and Bigfoot hit from the late 90’s, there is an element of nostalgia that plays in writer Fynn-Aiduenu’s favour. The music, the style, the attitudes and the flavour of the 90’s settles the audience into something they know. The year references act as an anchor for those looking for something familiar. The great success of the writing however are the non-linear timeslips and the finely tuned composition of the language that results in rapid fire poetry from a fired up cast.

As a cast of four, Bernard Mensah, Alice Fofana, Michael Levi Fatogun and Jade Hackett tear through the script and the multiple characters with impressive precision, rarely rising for breath and leaving an indelible mark with their pitch perfect performances.

Hackett and Fatogun are especially on form with their bold observations of public urination and Fatogun’s parental internal monologue that shows how close to the surface tensions really are.

Sweet Like Chocolate Boy is a majestic Black cultural Odyssey that melds genres, storytelling techniques and time lines into a high octane, often incredibly moving, very funny and sharply observed 120 minutes of theatre.

Sweet Like Chocolate Boy runs at Tobacco Factory Theatres until Saturday 6th July 2019

It continues to tour:

July 13th – 14th Studio 3 Arts, Barking

July 20th Theatre Peckham, London

September 7th The Lowry, Manchester

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s