This was another one of those shows I hadn't planned on seeing, but I got a cheap ticket offer and I'm glad I went along after all. For a play that is for the most part very funny, Katori Hall has chosen a pretty unlikely subject: Martin Luther King's last night before his assassination (the title comes from the speech he'd made on that night, which some people think eerily predicts his own death.) In his motel room, a maid brings the coffee he's ordered and King persuades her to stay and talk for a while. About half an hour into the play though, Hall introduces a twist that takes the story into the realms of fantasy.
David Harewood is very good as King, he seems to have the voice down pat although I did wonder if King really would have spoken in private in exactly the same way he did when making speeches. He's really given a run for his money though by Lorraine Burroughs, whose Camae matches him at every turn and makes herself hugely likeable. James Dacre's production is tight and fast-paced, and what I was most impressed with in Katori Hall's writing is how she manages not to diminish King's significance even while portraying him as a womaniser arrogant enough to even give God backchat.
The Mountaintop by Katori Hall is booking until the 5th of September at Trafalgar Studio 1.