It’s May which means part five of #MyStageyYear is here! This month I attended The Half God of Rainfall at the newly re-vamped and re-opened Kiln Theatre in Kilburn, North West London.
Previously called The Tricycle, The Kiln Theatre has a really cool vibe and I am now kicking myself that I hadn’t been there sooner (I only live a 15 minute walk away)!
To the play! Written by Inua Ellams The Half God of Rainfall is more of a dramatised story that a usual ‘play’. With just two actors The Half God of Rainfall merges the ancient Greek gods with the South West Nigerian Orisha’s (ancient gods not too dissimilar to the Greek ones we all know about) to tell the story of Demi, the Half God of Rainfall and his unstoppable basketball powers.
I had never seen anything like this production before and although the dialogue was quite heavy and took some getting used to, I was soon drawn into this modern epic. The set was relatively simple, dominated by a slightly raised circular platform which was covered in cracks of light. This use of staging gave me the sense that the two actors who were telling us this story, were standing on top of the world, like the ancient gods would have done.
Although the set was relatively simple the sound and lighting design really helped to create atmosphere and to give the audience a sense of space. From a Basketball court to Mount Olympus the theatre shook, rumbled and flashed along with the mood of each scene.
The two actors, Rakie Ayola and Kwami Odoom did an absolutely amazing job of handling the many characters. Able to switch from character to character with relative ease, I never got confused about who was meant to be who, and they made it feel like there were more than just the two of them on stage.
At and hour and 20 minutes, with only two actors and minimal staging, The Half God of Rainfall never lost pace. The intensity was high throughout culminating with an end scene that left me with goosebumps.
I loved The Half God of Rainfall, it opened my eyes to a culture I never knew about. Blending the known with the ‘new’ was also refreshing, this is not your ordinary mythology play, this is modern epic for modern audiences. If you don’t manage to get to see whilst it’s on at the Kiln, do pick up the book, it has such an interesting creation story and opens up a whole new world to audiences!
Till Next Time,