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Seize the Day | Tower Theatre

Seize the Day is officially open at the Tower Theatre and is an original play written by Kwame-Kwei Armah, who served as Artistic Director in 2009. It follows the life of Jeremy Charles, who is an actor turned politician who is running to become London’s first black mayor. You can imagine the struggles that may come with this type of journey, and Kwame-Kwei Armah has done a good job of writing a story that shows it. Within this piece, there are conversations over racism, social status, and a few secrets within the family system that many can relate to.

Jeremy Charles, played by Liam Brown, is a strong-willed character who goes with the flow until things start to challenge his beliefs and practices. Charles is approached by Howard Jones, played by Jake Bryan-Amaning, with the idea and opportunity for Charles to run for the mayor's office to become the first black person who has held office. As the story continues to unfold and people’s true identities are brought to light, Jeremy begins to realise what truly matters to him and the campaign that he wants to run. Liam Brown truly embodies Jeremy in a way that is humble, yet strong. His performance in this play held to the standards of a leading man. Jake Bryan-Amaning also gave a good performance that left you wondering if you loved him or not. His character, Howard, takes you on a journey emotionally and Bryan-Amaning executes it well.

Mya Onwugbonu, a 2023 Black British Theatre Award recipient for Best Director, lends her talents to directing this play. Onwugbonu has taken the limited space in the Tower Theatre and has utilised it in a profound way that heightens the stories, lessons, and aesthetics of this piece. You could tell that each directorial strategy was well thought out and very clearly conveyed to each of the actors as everything felt cohesive. She has presented the content in a way that is true to the text, but light-hearted in delivery, which draws you in as the audience member ready to be taken on the ride.

There were a couple of stand-out performances that need to be highlighted. The first of those is Temisanren Uwawah, who portrayed Lavelle. Uwawah does a fantastic job captivating the audience's attention from the moment he steps on the stage. Lavelle is a character that starts rough around the edges in character, but finishes smoothly out a bit. Uwawah expresses this journey very well in his body language and tone of voice throughout the play. The second highlight is Omar Khan, who portrayed Ravinder Persaud. Ravinder is one of Howard’s good friends and business partners. He is shy, witty, and extremely funny. Omar does a wonderful job exuding these characteristics and bringing this character to life. Though his time on stage is few, he leaves you with a memorable performance nonetheless.

As mentioned before, the stage spacing was limited. The Tower Theatre is a curved theatre that seats about 100 people and as a result, staging was extremely limited. The production team, Marli Hart, Rob Hebblethwaite, and Laurence Tuerk, have done a great job collaborating to use the space wisely. They truly set it up as if the audience is a part of the play giving it an immersive feel. There is the use of video in this production, which was a nice touch to keep the story relevant. Though there are a couple of things that felt like could have been done differently, there was evidence that the team did what they could with the space they were given.

Seize the Day is currently running at the Tower Theatre until the 10th of February. If you fancy a good story and night at the theatre, you should check it out. You can find tickets and more information here.


AD | gifted tickets in return for an honest review | photography by Robert Piwko


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