Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Bayou Blues, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Fiona Shepherd.
Shaina Lynn has the grace, beauty, stage presence and twerking moves to pull off some voodoo sorcery, though she casts herself less as high priestess Marie Laveau and more daughter of Katrina in this poetic meditation on her New Orleans home.
Lynn introduces water imagery in her ethereal introduction, before switching the focus to that old devil called Mardi Gras, the only day, she informs us, when 12-year-olds can get into city bars.
Lynn briefly captures the partying urgency of the festival, before her child protagonist Beauty moves off the main drag and into darker territory and the contrast is made with the more crucial but aimless flight of families from the path of Hurricane Katrina.
There is good material here though it doesn’t always coalesce effectively. The clipped, crisp rhythms of rap jar with the more impressionistic elements of the presentation as Beauty watches the aftermath of the storm from exile with her relatives in a different state.
In the end, there is no voodoo hex from Lynn, only the rather superficial notion that if we all stand up and chant with her as she twirls her parasol then we can somehow conquer racism.
Venue 13 (Venue 13) until 29 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 22 August 2015
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