6 May 2020
Our Channel 4 Playwright in Residence Ross Willis picks a play to read during lockdown.
Three Reasons Why you should read J’Ouvert by Yasmin Joseph
Its Lyrical Beauty.
Yasmin Joseph’s anthemic roar to Notting Hill Carnival soars and shines with brilliant poetic language on every single page. Joseph effortlessly captures the dizziness and brilliance of carnival while also capturing the pain women face by simply existing in that space.
Its Brilliant Ambition.
Queen Yasmin Joseph vigorously manages to put an ENTIRE carnival on stage and if that isn’t enough, she shows she is an innate dramatist who can effortlessly handle huge sweeping ideas as she explores gentrification, sexism, cross-community conflict and inter-generational conflict. On top of that there’s also visiting spirits!
It Really Is The Perfect Play For Being In Quarantine
As she beautifully puts it in the play “What was broken in spirit, we revived with song.” During these dark times even if only by reading it’s such a joyous thing to spend the afternoon in one of Britain's biggest street festivals. Sequins and Soca save the soul. J'Ouvert is a play to make you feel alive. It’s a dizzying hymn to life. It’s a play to celebrate. It’s a play to love.
You can buy J'Ouvert directly from publisher Oberon Books
Ross Willis' play's include Wolfie, for which he was nominated for Best Writer in The Stage Debut Awards, Most Promising Playwright in the Evening Standard Theatre Awards, Best Production and Best New Play in the Offies and won the award for Best Play at the Writers Guild Awards 2020. Ross was also part of the Orange Tree Writers Collective.
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