Theatre Review: Yarico

Tuesday 24 March 2015 by

Yarico, Musical, London Theatre Workshop, Fulham

Nestled above the Eel Brook Pub in Fulham is a small theatre of just 60 seats. In the intimate space above the buzzing pub, you will find the London Theatre Workshop production of Yarico. Yarico tells the story of an Amerindian woman who dreams of bigger things than her village. When Inkle, gambler and son of a British merchant, is shipwrecked on her island, so begins a love story that leads to Barbados, slavery and redemption.

Going in not knowing what to expect, I was surprised to find a story that encompassed love, hope, humour and fear. Yarico (played by Liberty Buckland) and her best friend Nono (Tori Allen-Martin) are dreamers, and their partnership is a sweet, refreshing centre point. But when Inkle (Alex Spinney) and his friend Cicero (Jean-Luke Worrell) turn up, their lives are turned upside down.

The story itself is simple, but what makes it so brilliant is the use of the musical score. Songs like Chocolate, Give Me My Name and Spirit Eternal serve to carry the plot forward, evoking the right emotions in the audience. It’s a good blend of upbeat and heartbreaking.

Based loosely on a true story, this is a story greater than the love story it begins with. It discusses race, politics and gender with nuance and skill. In a small theatre, you are transported to 17th century Barbados with Yarico and Nono, and survive their fears with them.

You are so close to the stage you are there with the cast. There are advantages to the small venue – being able to feel like you are a part of the chorus is one of them.  The humour, affection and betrayal feel close and real, and the cast draw you in with skill.

This is a hidden gem of a theatre, and a treat of a show.

Yarico shows until Saturday 28th March

Buy your tickets here

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