If you love stunning live theatre, then GOLDENROOM recommends ‘Snakes and Ladders’ a play by Sarah Naomi Lee about three Mixed ‘race’ sisters who test the bonds of love and rivalry.
Shadeism and the ‘good or bad hair ‘polarity is demonstrated in the experiences of many people from Black and Ethnic Minority backgrounds. Shadeism refers to the prejudice against darker skin tones within the Black and Ethnic minority communities and how lighter skin is not only preferred, but favoured and sought after. The good hair- bad hair debate usually focuses on the amount or tightness of curl, with looser curls, edging towards straight hair being considered good, and tighter, kinkier hair as bad. People of mixed ‘racial’ or mixed ethnic heritage can easily find themselves on the most virulent of frontlines in this debate, and run the risk of being fetishized or demeaned based on their skin tone and hair type.
In ‘Snakes and Ladders’, the scene is set in a hairdressing salon with an impending family wedding. Sister Amma, played by BAFTA award winning actress Cathy Tyson, can’t relax. Meanwhile Sista played by Janet Kumah, who has a lengthy stage career in West End musicals, is allergic to family life, Beyoncé and any Timotei advert. The latter most likely because sister Kitten, loves being the one ‘blessed with good hair’. Kitten is played by MOBO award winning actress Allyson Ava-Brown, recently starring as Fantine in Les Miserables. Each sister is, in her own way, happily resigned to her place, uncritical of the standards and processes that keep them there.
Read the whole exciting review and find out when ‘Snakes and Ladders is coming to a theatre near you: http://goldenroom.co.uk/issue/april-2014/article/the-scene-snakes-and-ladder