Tag Archives: Lucian Msamati

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Lyttelton, National Theatre, London (****)

© Johan Persson. Sharon D Clarke as Ma Rainey

© Johan Persson. Sharon D Clarke as Ma Rainey

There’s a kind of irony in the National’s directorial choice for August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. The story of a recording by the `mother’ of the Blues and the struggle for black musicians to control their own music-making, it was the Broadway hit that catapulted Wilson into the limelight in 1984 and the first in its author’s decalogy tracing the history of African-Americans in the 20th century. Continue reading