REVIEW: Matilda and Me

REVIEW: Matilda and Me

REVIEW: Matilda and Me

First published in Entertainments
Last updated

RIA Hartley transports you back to her childhood in Jamaica in her show, Matilda and Me.

The performance is Hartley’s way of preserving the memories of her Jamaican grandmother, who migrated to England in 1962.

Hartley is waiting for the audience to file in at the start of the show, surrounded by artefacts including coconut shells, a record player and LPs, oranges, sugar and a string of chilli peppers.

She is a fantastic storyteller and her descriptions quickly draw the audience into her childhood memories, making it easy to visualise the concrete house with a zinc roof that she shared with her large family.

The performance sees her explore her Caribbean roots through three generations and the use of props was helpful to explain her story and bring it to life.

The drawings of the UK and the West Indies on the floor with the sugar trail between them, and the Jamaican music on the record player were particularly effective.

Parts of the politically-charged show felt a bit like a lecture but I thought the mix of spoken word, dubpoetry, live art and reggae music worked well overall.

It was a thought-provoking show that left me pondering my own family history.



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