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Ghost Town

constance ejuma · Ages 15+ · world premiere · one person show · 90 mins · United States of America

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Review by AIAH SAMBA

June 11, 2019 certified reviewer
tagged as: genocide · ghost town · Cameroon

What I liked

The performance and direction and how succinctly it broke down a very complicated issue.

What I didn't like

I thought it worked well. There were some slight hiccups with lines but I’m sure those will be cleaned up when the show opens .

My overall impression

To say this performance was breathtaking is an understatement. Haunting, funny, and completely sobering, Ghost Town will remain with you long after your first viewing. And don’t be mistaken, there should be multiple viewings of this tour de force. The play gets its title from the violent displacement of people in towns across present day Cameroon. The show effortlessly brought together the crux of the turmoil and unrest in the nation like a maelstrom of heartbreak. From a corrupt minister to a traumatized 14 year old girl, each character the inimitable Constance Ejuma conjures is completely made whole. Every facial expression down to the tiniest detail gives such nuance that you whole heartedly believe these are different people played by different actors. One of the most welcome moments of levity came in the form of a deadpanned social media manager urging Cameroonians to take twitter seriously whilst pointing out how archaic and passé Facebook is in comparison. Although this tragedy is occurring in central Africa, it’s frighteningly relevant to what’s happening the world over. From Trump’s propaganda to Brexit, people’s safety and needs continue to come last next to a government’s desire to control them. The fact that a beautiful nation like Cameroon is fighting over which colonizer’s language holds more weight is disheartening to say the least. Of course I’d be remiss not to mention the infallible work of Director Jude Yong in bringing this brilliant showcase into existence. His ability to craft and shape this into the powerful piece it became is praise worthy. This is a play that shouldn’t be missed and a reminder to all people that we should put more value into what binds us and not social and systemic constructs that separate us or I fear there will be more Ghost Towns the world over.

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