This is the true story of the greatest Black Briton you’ve never heard of.
ABC Merriman-Labor is an African satirist, whose dreams of becoming the greatest writer of his generation lead him on a defiant journey to the ‘horrifying heart of whiteness’: Edwardian London. Here, he wrestles with romantic ruin, financial catastrophe and severe writers’ block to compose the first ethnographic account of the White Man ever attempted. But when details of his intimate friendship with John Roberts spark rumours back in Freetown, he is faced with an impossible choice: exposure or oblivion.
This charismatic one-performer show features a kaleidoscope of characters, brought to life through object puppetry and live sound-effects. Blending an Edwardian stand-up set with a contemporary exploration of racial and sexual identity, ‘Five Years with the White Man’ is a tragicomic celebration of a long-forgotten figure, who defied the bigotry of empire.
Press & Reviews
Praise for Previous Work:
The List - ★★★★★ - ‘a fearless display of physicality that shape-shifts from ludicrous tomfoolery to raw menace’ (for ‘BLEED’ - Sam Rayner as Movement Director)
The Guardian - ★★★★★ - ‘this show’s razzle-dazzle song-and-dance opener is intensely funny [and] utterly sublime’ (for ‘SHEEPS: Live & Loud’ - Sam Rayner as Movement Director)
Within Her Words - ★★★★★ - 'I don’t know if I’ve ever laughed quite so much at a piece of theatre.' (for 'JEW...ish' - Saul Boyer as Writer)
The Prickle - ★★★★★ - 'Though historical research comes across in every line...make no mistake: the show is hilarious, and probably the best one-man play you will see at the Edinburgh Fringe.' (for 'Man of 100 Faces' - Saul Boyer as Writer)
London West End Theatre Tickets - ★★★★ - 'JEW…ish is a contemporary gem that deftly and delightfully delineates the resulting comic fault lines.' (for 'JEW...ish' - Saul Boyer as Writer)
The Scotsman - ★★★★ - ‘physical theatre at its most immaculate’ (for 'The Man Who Thought He Knew Too Much' - Sam Rayner as Co-Director)
Cast & Creative Team ABC Merriman-Labor: JOSEPH AKUBEZE
Concept by: ELOKA OBI, SAUL BOYER & SAM RAYNER
Writers: ELOKA OBI & SAUL BOYER
Director & Dramaturg: SAM RAYNER
Associate Director: NEBIU SAMUEL
Lighting Designer: CATJA HAMILTON
Sound Designer: FREDERICK WAXMAN