Pilot Theatre brings Noughts and Crosses to the Anthony Hopkins theatre at Theatr Clwyd as part of their UK tour. Noughts and Crosses is set in a world where equality is lacking, and the law is not doing much to protect from discrimination. The Crosses are the superior race who have lots of money and better jobs and schools, whereas the Noughts are at the poorer end of society with manual, lower paid jobs and poor schools.
The Noughts just want to belong, to have decent jobs and for their children to go to a good school but the Crosses want the opposite. They want to rule everything and do not want the Noughts to enter in to their world, trying everything in their power, whether it is legal or not, to keep the races completely segregated.
The main two characters Sephy (Heather Agyepong) and Callum (Billy Harris) are a modern-day Romeo and Juliet, growing up in separate races but are best friends and eventually fall in love. Agyepong and Harris bring so much passion to the roles and show so much emotion throughout, guiding us through the many twists and turns of the story, which brings to light how important this story is today. Government corruption, terrorist groups and war, fighting for different reasons, whether it be wanting to maintain power or wanting equality.
The story tackles many issues, bombings, kidnap, death sentences. Things that are happening every day around the world, but at the heart of it carries a strong message, love and acceptance, to get along no matter what class, age, colour you are.
The play runs so smoothly due to this fantastic cast, all working so closely together, each knowing the next persons move to link scene to scene with only the change of lighting or the movement of a table or chairs. There are some extremely physical parts but with the wonderful fight direction (Kenan Ali) and extremely slick lighting, they are made to look so effective.
Apart from the two focus characters, six other actors play all the other roles, some playing three or four characters. Doreene Blackstock and Chris Jack as Sephy’s mother and father play very strong characters. Leading the fight of the Crosses to stay in power while going through their own problems in their private life. They have everything they want but their home life is suffering for it.
Jack Condon plays Callum’s brother Jude and is perfect in the role. He isn’t going to stand by and watch bad things happen to his family and friends and delivers a great character, fighting for what he believes is right.
The set is extremely well designed by Simon Kenny. Simple but draws you in and brought to life by Joshua Drualus Pharo’s slick lighting design.
The cast are completed by Daniel Copeland, Lisa Howard and Kimisha Lewis who bring numerous characters to life.
Writer Sabrina Mahfouz and Director Esther Richardson have made some bold decisions when bringing this story to the stage which leaves your heart in your mouth and in some instances, tears to the eyes.
The story of Noughts and Crosses is so important and hits home that these sorts of things are happening in our world, now. Everyone should be equal, no matter what colour or class you are, you should be able to love who you choose to love.
Reviewer: Damian Riverol
Reviewed: 19th February 2019
North West End Rating: ★★★★★