Four generations of black men are trying to understand themselves in a world which tells them they have to be strong.
Inspired by real-life testimony and told through an explosive fusion of text, physical theatre and hip-hop dance, Samskara explores vulnerability, emotional trauma and how cycles of fathering affect masculinity. Moving through joy and suffering, laughter and longing, this soul-baring odyssey untangles what it means to be a black man in twenty-first-century Britain.
Samskara premiered at The Yard Theatre, London, in November 2021, written, directed and choreographed by award-winning artist Lanre Malaolu.
Extra Content: Lanre Malaolu on how race, masculinity, psychology and emotion have shaped his work, in an interview in The Guardian (21 October 2021).
'When I look at you – when you look at me – when our eyes connect?
I have to protect. To hold on to something, 'cause there's too much to feel!'
'Lanre Malaolu has a light touch on heavyweight subjects. His sharp, naturalistic script switches between laugh-out-loud comedy, personal psychology and social comment to address black masculinity in the 21st century... powerful, moving, rich and straight-talking... Malaolu is a real talent, and Samskara deserves a wide audience'Guardian
'An outburst of a show... an achingly moving 90 minutes that questions whether Black men must be strong to be valued... Samskara feels current and raw... A triumph in its frank unpicking of the male psyche, it masters the experience of being an equally joyful and painful watch'The Stage
'Undulating between naturalistic dialogue, mesmerising physical storytelling, and genuinely laugh-out-loud moments... Samskara is at once a deliciously joyful and hard-hitting watch'Exeunt