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What we’ve been up to… Tar Baby at The Vault Festival

I don’t know about you, but I’m loving the conversation about race at the moment. Well, technically, I’m loving the way people are freaking out over Beyonce’s Formation video, in the same way they were freaking out about Dear White People two years ago, in the same way they were freaking out ten years ago when old Kanye said George Bush didn’t care about black people, during the live TV appeal for Hurricane Katrina victims. Speaking of: it’s funny how Queen Bey has brought us back to Katrina 11 years later, proving that the “conversation” is not only still important, but can’t be ignored – even if you dress it up in a glossy, expensive video.

In the case of Tar Baby, a one-woman show by New York comedienne Desiree Birch, the conversation masquerades as a carnival show. There’s music, games and of course, an elephant in the room. And for people uncomfortable with discussing racism, there’s also a false sense of security that allows Birch to address that metaphorical mammal head on by touching on slavery, capitalism, white privilege, black stereotypes, black female stereotypes, the faux pas of touching afro hair and the Black Lives Matter movement with little tact or remorse. But she’s so clever and witty about it, you can’t help but love her at the end. Or at least, I did. And I’ve got a couple of Race Cards to prove it.

Post show mementos 😂😂😂 #mightjustusethese #race #politics #humour #foodforthought @tarbabytheplay

A photo posted by Matilda (@megerecooper) on

It’s just a pity last night was the final show at  The Vault Festival. I don’t know if Tar Baby is coming back to London, but I know it needs to. This satirical commentary on racism is just what we need right now, because it’s got the guts to make sure we’re all just that little bit more informed about racism, in case we didn’t get the memo.

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