Theatre review: Roll On The Day at the Etcetera Theatre

Thought-provoking musical drama about immigrant street artist leaves you wanting more

The first two-thirds of this new musical drama seem straightforward enough: Eko, a Nigerian immigrant, is doing his best to make an honest living as a street artist in London.

Cockney street vendor Dan and Eko joke around and sing catchy songs about meeting the women of their dreams.

Posh, art-loving Lavinia turns up and, much to Dan’s annoyance, takes a keen interest in his mate. “I love your body of work,” she sings to Eko. “She loves my body!” he repeats hopefully.

But in the last third it all unravels. Eko, it turns out, is here illegally, having fled “a country betrayed by scumbag politicians” for his own safety a decade before.

There follows a satire of sorts on our own corrupt United Kingdom, involving highly topical collusion between “scumbag” journalists and corrupt police, who think nothing of blackmailing Eko to achieve their goals.

The three lead actors perform this simple, thought-provoking tale more than competently, with Amersackie Osakonor giving the strongest performance, as Eko. Composer Laurence Mark Wythe has written some decent tunes, although at just an hour long I left Roll On The Day wanting more.

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* Roll On The Day is at the Etcetera Theatre, Camden High Street, NW1, until April 15