Back early from the theatre tonight - the National are using the same approach with this show as with EGBDF
, i.e. where they have a short running time, doing two performances per night and cutting ticket prices, so I went to the 6pm one for Inua Ellams' The 14th Tale
. An artist and poet, turned performer with the help of director Thierry Lawson, Ellams tells the story of his childhood and teens, first in Nigeria, then at the age of 12 moving to London when his father gets a promotion, and later to Dublin, then back to London. The common thread throughout is his ability to get into mischief, and he frames the story with himself succeeding his father and grandfather as a sort of Lord of Misrule, Anansi figure. As a writer Ellams has an amusing turn of phrase, with the blank verse throwing in bits of rhyme at just the right moments for them to have effect. As a performer he's charming and lively, although he takes a while to get into his stride - the show originated at BAC and it feels like it'd be more suited to somewhere more intimate than the Cottesloe. There's nothing earth-shattering here but it's an enjoyable enough 55 minutes; I can't see it being on anyone's must-see list but it's not a miss either.The 14th Tale
by Inua Ellams is booking until the 13th of March at the National Theatre's Cottesloe.