Black Jesus

kxt - kings cross theatre, may 2016

australian premiere

Zimbabwe, 2015. The Mugabe Government has fallen and investigations into its abuses have begun. Eunice Ncube, working for the new Truth and Justice Commission, interviews Gabriel Chibamu: Black Jesus, child soldier, and the most infamous perpetrator of the horrors of the Mugabe regime. As Gabriel's trial and inevitable prosecution approach, Eunice sifts through the past – only to find that right and wrong, and guilt and innocence, are far less clear than she first thought . . .

Written by Anders Lustgarten; Directed by Suzanne Millar; Lighting Design Christopher Page; Sound Design Will Newnham; Stage Manager Andrew McMartin; Producer John Harrison

Cast Belinda Jombwe, Dorian Nkono, Elijah Williams, Jarrod Crellin, with Alex Jalloh on drums.

— Tom Lodewyke, What's On Sydney
Director Suzanne Millar has put together a slick, tight, thought-provoking piece of theatre, and Lustgarten’s script is powerful and hard-hitting. It’s a huge piece for such a small space, which makes it all the more confronting. bAKEHOUSE Theatre Company are yet again exhibiting themselves as a hugely innovative and admirably brave group of creatives... It’s the type of production that’s rarely seen here and it certainly shouldn’t be missed.
— Alana Kaye, Theatre Now
I’ve been racking my brain trying to think of a play produced in Sydney over the past decade set in modern day Africa. Credit to bAKEHOUSE Theatre Company for staging it and believing it can find an audience. It should. The performances are very sharp. This tightly-made production directed by Suzanne Millar makes for absorbing viewing.
— Jason Blake, Sydney Morning Herald
A taut, powerful production.
— Jo Litson, Scene and Heard
Lustgarten’s dense, short play is a rare treat for a Sydney audience. It’s packed with ideas, argument, drama and insights into the very essence of the personal being political.
— Diana Simmonds
Black Jesus is a powerful piece of theatre. It is bold and violent with extraordinary performances from both lead actors...
— Emily Shaddick, Australian Stage
bAKEHOUSE once again brings to Sydney a premiere performance that flouts the conventional theatre scene in many ways. It is raw and angry and challenging, gritty and unvarnished, hard-hitting and confronting, fast-paced and uncompromising…
— Carol Wimmer, Stage Whispers
bAKEHOUSE Theatre Company is bringing a story to the Sydney stage that audiences rarely get to enjoy.
— Emily Richardson, Upstaged Review
Leading man Elijah Williams impresses with his immense agility in both physical and emotional terms. It is a vigorous but measured performance, magnetic in its allure, and disarming in its authenticity. Williams’ ability to engross with an extravagant sense of theatricality while keeping us convinced of the psychological accuracy that he depicts, is the highlight of the show and delightfully thrilling to witness.
— Suzy Wrong, Suzy Goes See
The political nakedness of the play’s concern are carried by the muscularity of the playing and is worth your attention. Put Black Jesus on your list to see.
— Kevin Jackson
The importance of witnessing this cast in all their dramatic glory can’t be overestimated. We see performances like this far too rarely on Australian stages and much credit goes to bAKEHOUSE for bringing this exciting drama to our city. Black Jesus is an important play, an electrifying night at the theatre that will remain with you for many nights after.
— Lisa Thatcher