Trafalgar Studios 2
Reviewed on Thursday 31st July 2014
Following two young women on their journey to acceptance, Dessa Rose is an intriguingly spiritual piece of theatre. The musical centres around Dessa, a young black slave, and Ruth, a young white mother, who form an unlikely alliance.
Their unique friendship sees the pair looking out for each other in various situations. Based on Sherley Anne Williams' novel, the story is told as Ruth and Dessa relive their ordeals and pass on their story to their grandchildren.
Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty's score is influenced by blues, folk, hymns and gospel music. These styles have been fused with musical theatre to create an incredibly refreshing style.
This was my first time seeing a musical inside the tiny studio space at Trafalgar Studios and I was intrigued to see where the band would be positioned. Musicians are dotted around the space, with one even tucked away in the corner of the entrance. Whilst this looks a little odd, the sound is mesmerising - it is rare to hear instruments being played all around you.