15 March 2022
New Diorama Theatre
4.5 out of 5.0 stars
A friend recommended Passion Fruit to me, so I headed to the New Diorama Theatre to check it out. The play centres around Romeo, a Black, Gay, British Jamaican boy growing up on a North London housing estate. And from the first moment, it’s off to the races!
With a large helping of dance, the story of Romeo unfolds from early childhood to early adulthood. On the way, he has to make difficult decisions of how he wants to live his truth.
This play is scripted incredibly well, immediately drawing in the audience and building a rapport with honesty and depth. There are quite a few difficult moments throughout the show, beautifully painting a rich and lively story of a young boy trying to figure out himself and the world.
Real, down to earth, with so much heart and ambition, it’s a fast paced play that isn’t afraid to show the ugly reality of young lives being confronted with expectations, rules, and other people’s ideas of who they should be.
Passion Fruit has so many pivotal moments that are touching and enlightening, with the strongest message being that living your truth makes it worth all the obstacles thrown your way, all the strength and work it takes to stand against the grain and be authentic and honest.
While the whole cast was brilliant, I have to give a special shout out to Hayden Mampasi, who took on an estimated five hundred different characters with ease and conviction, making it look so natural and fun. Each time Hayden took the stage, it was quite obvious which character was having a moment by stance and movement alone. What a brilliant feat of acting!
Passion Fruit is a gorgeous play, filled with joy and love. It’s one of those shows that will change you in a wonderful way.