Review Round Up: White Pearl, Royal Court Theatre

Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for Anchuli Felicia King’s play.

(c)Helen Murray.

WhatsOnStage: ** “King is clearly a writer to watch, but she hasn’t quite found the measure of her aim here.”

The Guardian: **** “This is a bracingly funny play that, like Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls, shows women are no more immune than men to capitalism’s insidious corruption.”

Exeunt Magazine: “The cast largely have a riot with the script. It’s always illuminating to observe what people are laughing at; I and my half-white, half-Japanese friend are demolished by a YouTube commenter’s username ‘One BTS Army’ and Ruki and Xiao’s mistaken belief that the other must not like them because of their countries’ histories, while much of the audience still find a character nearly dropping an anti-black slur apparently hilarious.”

The Telegraph: ** “It’s been a while since the Royal Court caused any kind of uproar. Boldly placed on its illustrious main-stage, White Pearl – a debut play from 25-year-old Anchuli Felicia King – looks like it could do so either by accident or design.”

Time Out: **** “it is undeniably powerful to see Asian woman on-stage, to hear non-native English voices, to know that the production prioritises their visibility and the integrity of their portrayal. Even where White Pearl feels cut short or cut shallow, it has a boldness, ambition and acerbic humour on a scale that makes you sit up and pay attention.”

Broadway World: ** “A satire that too quickly turns into a vicious circle of stereotypes, the piece is barely kept afloat by an underwhelming type of humour that has a penchant for cheap, comedy that steers towards the American variety.”

The Upcoming: **** “King’s writing has that quality where almost every line whip-cracks through the air and leaves a welt. Combine that with the lush slickness of Moi Tran’s pastel-tech office, and some great performances from Minhee Yeo and Kae Alexander – the latter’s presence not the only reason the work recalls Branden Jacob-Jenkins’s Gloria – and you’ve got a production as refreshing as a slap in the face.”

British Theatre Guide: “Farzana Dua Elahe can be magisterial in her power broking, while Kae Alexander better than most when it comes to keeping her tongue (amongst other things) in her cheek throughout a play that raises interesting issues without exploring them in any great depth and instead relies too much on shallow comedy.”

White Pearl continues to play at the Royal Court Theatre until the 15th June.

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