‘When I look at you – when you look at me – when our eyes connect?
I have to protect. To hold on to something, ’cause there’s too much to feel!’
Four generations of black men are trying to understand themselves in a world which tells them they have to be strong.
Inspired by real-life testimony and told through an explosive fusion of text, physical theatre and hip-hop dance, Samskara explores vulnerability, emotional trauma and how cycles of fathering affect masculinity. Moving through joy and suffering, laughter and longing, this soul-baring odyssey untangles what it means to be a black man in twenty-first-century Britain.
Samskara premiered at The Yard Theatre, London, in November 2021, written, directed and choreographed by award-winning artist Lanre Malaolu.
‘Lanre Malaolu has a light touch on heavyweight subjects. His sharp, naturalistic script switches between laugh-out-loud comedy, personal psychology and social comment to address black masculinity in the 21st century… powerful, moving, rich and straight-talking… Malaolu is a real talent, and Samskara deserves a wide audience’
‘An outburst of a show… an achingly moving 90 minutes that questions whether Black men must be strong to be valued… Samskara feels current and raw… A triumph in its frank unpicking of the male psyche, it masters the experience of being an equally joyful and painful watch’
— The Stage
‘Undulating between naturalistic dialogue, mesmerising physical storytelling, and genuinely laugh-out-loud moments… Samskara is at once a deliciously joyful and hard-hitting watch’