A Shiny Life For Me!

a personal review blog by Bianca

Skeleton Crew

Skeleton Crew
02 July 2024
Donmar Warehouse
4.0 out of 5.0 stars

Skeleton Crew, currently running at the Donmar Warehouse until 24 August, is one of three plays in Dominique Morisseau’s cycle focussing on her home city’s history of racial tensions and recent economic decline, “The Detroit Project”.

This play is set in the break room of an automotive factory in 2008, the height of the industry’s collapse, leaving its workers worried about their futures. Here we meet our four protagonists. Shanita, a young, pregnant woman who has dreams of being independent through her chosen career in the car industry. Dez, a young man hoping to eventually open his own repair shop to be free of factory work, but still needing to save up enough money to make that dream come true. Faye, the matriarch of the factory with almost three decades of work under her belt. And Reggie, the supervisor of the factory who tries to bridge the gap between management and workers.

With so few characters, the play manages to build up emotional connection with these people very quickly, immersing the audience in their lives, dreams, and hopes effortlessly. As their world begins to collapse around them, they compare their own situations to those of friends and relatives who have been through factory closures and have lost everything, considering their options between loyalty and self preservation.

It’s a slow building but very touching play, very slice-of-life and beautifully paced. The characters come across as very real, very grounded and empathetic. It’s one of those plays that opens up a world far from your own experiences and makes it feel closer and realer in just a couple of hours. A great piece of storytelling that feels real and raw.

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