Tambo & Bones
Tambo and Bones are stuck in a minstrel show. It's hard to know what's real when you're stuck in a minstrel show. Their escape plan: get out, get rich, get even.
A daring theatrical exploration of the intersection of race, capitalism and performance, Dave Harris's play Tambo & Bones laughs through our past, blows the roof off our present, and imagines an explosive future for our world and for theatre.
Tambo & Bones was commended in the 2019 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting, and was first performed in a co-production between Playwrights Horizons, New York City, and Center Theatre Group, Los Angeles, in 2022. It was first produced in the UK in 2023 by Theatre Royal Stratford East, London, and Actors Touring Company, directed by Matthew Xia.
'In today's world, errybody got a story.
It's overwhelming. How! The humanity! O! Everywhere, someone appealing to yo sense of… empathy.'
'Blistering… sobering… lacerating stage poetry'New York Magazine
'A racially charged metatheatrical satire and "rags-to riches hip-hop odyssey" by slam poet turned playwright Dave Harris'Time Out New York
'Not your typical play about race... Harris has created a hallucinogenic collage in which ideas about protest and history, art and moneymaking tumble over each other'The Times
'Provocative and like nothing you've ever seen... an unapologetic vision of America's racial history – combining elements of minstrelsy, hip hop and afrofuturism... darkly funny and downright disturbing'Telegraph
'Entertaining and unnerving... packs a potent message while toying with the conventions of theatre itself'The Stage
'A loud, provocative confrontation of the US's muddy racial history... form-shifting and endlessly surprising... the final scene is one of the most affecting I have seen on stage. Unique, challenging and oh-so necessary, it is a moment that will stay with you long after the play's close'Guardian
'Unpredictably bonkers... a cluster bomb of a play... Harris' lyrical but deadly sharp writing is totally disarming, it uses and abuses theatrical form with iconoclastic brutality'Broadway World
'I guarantee that you will never have seen a play like this!!... a marvellous piece of theatre... superbly written: VERY funny, then suddenly very shocking... by far the best new American play I have seen for years: it really has to be experienced'LondonTheatre1
'Daring and layered... hard-hitting... such a powerful, exciting piece of theatre... a stellar work of art'All That Dazzles
'Funny, filthy, and often gleefully ridiculous... a vivid, bone-crunchingly intimate joyride of a show... a blast'Time Out