Thursday, May 12, 2016

runboyrun: ☼ ☼ ☼ BANG

If you are willing to work, Mfoniso Udofia's 'runboyrun' will reward you with a nuanced story and extraordinary acting. The show is performed in Nigerian English with no attempts to temper either the thick accents or the magical realism. It took us half the ninety minute show to acclimate to the language, but once we did we were transported into another dimension.

Part of a proposed nine-play saga of a Nigerian family's survival during the Nigerian Civil War and ultimate immigration to America, runboyrun features Adrian Roberts as Disciple Ufot, a man haunted by the memory of his sister's death, Omoze Idenhenre as Abasiama Ufot, Disciple's long-suffering wife and Katherine Renee Turner as Sister. Turner played the younger Abasiama in "Sojourners," the prequel to runboyrun,

Also in the cast is Rotimi Agbabiaka as the shellshocked Boy, Rafael Jordan as the blinded Ben Gun and Nancy Moricette as Mother. We don't want to give you too much information because figuring out the mysterious plot is one of the evening's pleasures.

We loved the set by Erik Flatmo, which brought us a frosty main floor and an overheated basement in the family home in Massachusetts, plus room for the frightening chaos back in Southern Nigeria. This is not an easy show to watch but it is an effort well worth making.


The San Francisco Theater Blog Awards Division awards "runboyrun" Three Stars with a BANGLE OF PRAISE. We like to work for our dinner, to see a story not mired in the obvious. Udofia's writing, Sean San Jose's direction and the entire ensemble of actors earn one star each. The BANGLE is for the Magic, and the courage it takes to present a show as complex as this one. Ms. Udofia is a marvel.

The Magic Theatre
Fort Mason, Building D, San Francisco
Through May 15

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