Skip to main content

23rd May 2022

Review: The White Card

Miriam Jarvis reviews The White Card at HOME
Review: The White Card
Photo: Wasi Daniju.

Claudia Rankine is a genius, and, in all honesty, the review could end there. But, for the sake of those who would be interested in reading a slight expansion on that statement, here goes…

The White Card is Rankine’s first published play which shows the imagined fault line between Black and White lives. This particular production is directed by Natalie Ibu and is the UK and European premiere of the play. 

The play focuses primarily on a dinner. Charlotte, a Black female artist, is invited to dinner with two White art collectors, their White art dealer and their White son. What begins as a formal business dinner quickly becomes a tense debate about White privilege, cultural appropriation, and representation.  

The conversations between audience members that followed after the play ended are part of the power of the play. 

The only lapse in the power of the play is the moment when the members of the ensemble hold mirrors up to the audience while Childish Gambino’s ‘This is America’ plays in the background. Although the sentiment of this moment is strong, the notion of holding mirrors up for the audience to see that they are part of the problem feels rather gimmicky and overused.

It was devastating to see empty seats at a play that should be seen by as many people as possible, especially in the aftermath of BLM world, where Western society reckons with the legacy of slavery and colonialism (systemic racism). This play is thoughtful, inventive and provocative – and most importantly, necessary.

The White Card continues its UK tour until July.

More Coverage

Live at The Fête of Britain review: A humorous address of the modern world

Uniting art, comedy, politics and activism, Live at The Fête of Britain provoked an important discussion about the most pressing issues of our time

UMMTS’ Timey Wimey review: A Doctor Whosical

Even if you are not a Whovian the UMMTS’ production will take you on a mesmerising journey through the most iconic features of the Whoniverse

Blue Beard review: Problematic and distasteful plastic feminism

In production with Wise Children theatre company, Emma Rice’s new adaptation of Blue Beard uses circus tricks, smoke, and mirrors to dance around the genuine issues it is trying to tackle

Rocky Horror Show review: The show that never disappoints

Be a feather-bowered spectator to the unravelling secrets of the sweet transvestites from Transexual, Transylvania.