Until the Flood is a retelling of the 2014 shooting of black teenager Michael Brown. Created and performed by Dael Orlandersmith, Until the Flood is brought to the stage as a form of documentary. Orlandersmith beautifully realises each of the people telling their story.
Until the Flood focuses on the reflections and aftermath of the shooting. Taking in consideration of both Michael Brown and white police officer Darren Wilson. The play is understated in critique and without judgement. Through Orlandersmith’s careful portrayals Until the Flood feels even more powerful as the audience is left piecing together and absorbing what has been witnessed.
Standing in front of a memorial to Brown, eight fictionalised people are brought to being. Orlandersmith simply adopts each persona, though a single item, a physical stance, there is transformation. It is powerful to hear the reflections from the range of perspective. From the young black man who doesn’t want to be next, to the white racist proud of his actions. Of a white woman desperate to see some good but oblivious to her impact, her privilege.
Until the Flood carefully plays with each persona. Allowing the audience to understand in each monologue the hopes, dreams and realities for each. Their words delivered with a conviction that feels like a punch to the gut. The entrenched prejudices are carefully crafted. Underlining the white privilege which remains hidden, unseen. That communities continue to be decimated by an inability to be appreciative
Until the Flood is at the Traverse Theatre as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. You can see the production until Sunday 25th August at various times. Until the Flood is then at the Arcola Theatre, London from 4th-28th September.
Disclosure: This review is part of media accreditation for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. All views and opinions contained are my own.