Tanica Psalmist

My name is Tanica Psalmist. I'm a spoken word artist, emerging playwright and theatre critic.

Review Van Gogh on the Beach by Poetry House review by Tanica Psalmist

(4 / 5)

Van Gogh on the Beach is a tale of Vincent’s love, art and heart in Lost Angels written and performed by talented Jahmar Ngozi. Van Gogh on the Beach fuses together a blend of poetry, drama, dance and art, where the Great Vincent Van Gogh exploits, highlighting his infatuation for an enthusiastic, endowing sexually elevated women and of course his passion and gift for his artsy, God given gift.

The time period of Van Gogh on the beach is Set in Los Angeles during the buzzing, booming century of the 80’s/90’s, where they’re seen in the play rocking out vintage, classy and sleek dress wear and suits, smoking cigars and remaining optimistic when feeling drained from a bruised community, as they expand on the stigma of artists only associating with their respective peers. However, through all of that heat a cool breeze shifts the air as they seek a solution to the problem. Expanding into the era when the enlightenment of art was detached from anything that bound it, acknowledging that art  is an expression of anything you allow it to be.

Van Gogh on the beach is a fantastic, historical admiring play that’s full of energy, powerful words and heartfelt scenes. This play channels the excitement of jazz, spoken word, passion, romance and the importance of art.  The overall production is cultural, eloquent and historical as you travel through the journey of different lives that contain factual, fantasy and inspirational entertaining content. A well presented show, as Van Gogh on the beach is extremely engaging and exhilarating to watch.

Tanica Psalmist

 

Review Dogmatic, Camden People’s Theatre by Tanica Psalmist

(4 / 5)

Dogmatic is an extremely interactive, intimate and outspoken play; written and performed by energetic and innovative playwright Jamal Gerald. Dogmatic is a play that has no filter, sugar coating or beating around the bush. His topics and discussions are raw, challenging and insightful; giving you an opportunity to express your inner thoughts and listen to other people’s perspectives. It was interesting to see people slowly coming out of their shell after being told by Jamal it was a non-judgmental environment and highlighting that there was no right or wrong answers to his questions. Although most people felt uneasy to speak out originally,  the audience became less irrespective of the context of the matters eventually, dissecting the dilemma’s presented and focusing on conflicting political issues in the UK.

Jamal’s performance exploits fundamental racial issues. Jamal steps out of his comfort zone to re-visit different phases in his life where he felt threatened, misguided and unprotected showing us six different cardboard writings. Whilst also discussing complexities such as if violence towards a Nazi is acceptable if facing just verbal attacks and the effects of being told by two white females at a black lives matter protest that they were sorry written out on cardboard. To help the audience envision the moment and feel the same effects he felt he choose two white females in the audience to hold up cardboard which read ‘We are Sorry’.

Dogmatic featured many stimulating, radiating acts. Interestingly, with the help of Jamal’s Artistic Director we witnessed  a chalk outline of his body on the floor. The play began with his body positioned and engraved in the spot, depicting a meticulous precision of a victims death at a murder scene. It was obvious Jamal was symbolising a synonymous term with a tragic death. There was flowers in vases and candles around the space which stimulated  a grief condolence, presenting remorse of a gone to soon life. Different video’s projected were used to help erupt  further discussions to the audience. Everyone was respectful of everyone’s different opinions and personal views on race, social injustice, treatment and white privilege. However, i’m sure if they weren’t Jamal would of done a great job ensuring conservations didn’t spiral into a debate.

Dogmatic is daring, enlightening and unapologetic. The featuring of cushions with two different loaf of cakes became transparent to me once the play had ended. I suppose for such a heavy, informative play, it could be conceived as overwhelming and discomforting so to balance it out Jamal choose to create an intimate setting too in hope that moods and emotions would ascend as smoothly as his play did, and I’m happy to say the plan had worked indeed.

Tanica Psalmist

Review Candid by Tanica Psalmist- Canada Water Theatre

(4 / 5)

Candid is performed and written by Aaron Lambert, the play foretells Aaron Lamberts internal story from when he was a boy developing in to a young man finding herself, feeling disconnected to society due to affiliated labels of homosexuals by judgmental critics in his community and around the world. We see how the fate of past homosexual artists, activists, leaders and playwrights was a gateway for him to not live up to expectations from society, but redeem strength  from their efforts to be an overcomer. His performance cultivates awareness of a captivating society that’s held within a social culture, easily lost and withdrawn from the torment inflicted in to young, homosexual black males, who may also be struggling to adjust to life, fitting into stereotypes.

Candid is a personal, emotionally engaging solo play. An autobiographical journey expressing discrimination, family acceptance, school struggles, judgments and how being a homosexual, black male provokes the fear of coming out even worse. This play is a testimonial in to what homosexual  individuals’ life can detect growing up unsupported, alone, feeling detached from home, social life and school feeing different and ashamed with deserted family members.

This production contained documented footage of various people speaking out on the matter via BBC documentaries and  radio host shows. Aaron smartly used the recordings to make remarks on past victims who have had their lives lost too soon through murder in the States, England and Jamaica.

Candid is fused with dance, projections, taboos and examining biblical scriptures which plays a part in the foundation of the matter.    This production is enticed with intimate real life moments and genuine emotions.

 

Tanica Psalmist.

Review Hoes, Hampstead Theatre by Tanica Psalmist

(5 / 5)

Hoes written by Ifeyinwa Frederick and directed by Lakesha Arie-Angelo is about three sensational, charismatic ladies who explore an exotic holiday out in Ibiza. You depict an exact insight into how it feels to be attractive, young, wild and free with a flamboyant nature; played brilliantly by Areatha Ayeh, Marieme Diouf and Nicola Maisie Taylor. Their holiday is a getaway from all stress, work related ties, repetition, relationship restrictions, family complications and disorientation. Hysterically anytime the character J was caught using her work phone, she needed to donate at least a quid, this was because she made an oath she wasn’t going to indulge in business related enquires until she arrived back home, so when she’s caught there’s cash to be handed over.

The character Bim makes it clear she’s on holiday to let her hair down, drink like there’s no tomorrow, take shots for breakfast, cure hangovers with more alcohol, party every night and cater to her thirsty vagina, as sex has no limits. As a female she declares there’s no shame if you want to enjoy the fun, erotic nature of sexual intercourse, be intimate with whomever you’re attracted to, and dress as provocatively as you please to flaunt your curves and your treasured assets.

Bim highlights that woman should embrace the divine beauty given to womanly Goddesses, and therefore shouldn’t feel ashamed to do as they please with their body. The audience had taken a strong liking to the character Bim as she is shamelessly hysterical, constantly throwing sexual innuendos, loud, and not afraid to speak her mind. Bim is an example of a confident, sassy alcoholic guru who’s a freak in the bedroom and straight class on the streets.

All three girls appear free spirited and high spirited twenty-four hours of the day, so it was concerning when occasionally character Bim would present characteristics of emotional disorder, anxiety, depression with abusive threatening swings at herself when she was solo in the room, unaccompanied. She would then suddenly transition, putting on a façade, smile impulsively, continuing to amuse and entertain simultaneously and disguise how upset, unsettled and anxious she internally felt when her friends were around, until they walk in on her startled by what they witness.

Hoes is a testament of resilience, exposure and the power of freedom. The production was set as a bedroom and smoothly transitioned to convey various scenes of them waking up from a night out with a hangover and getting ready prior to a wild night, fitting into dresses, pampering their faces and pre-drinking. All the scenes were extremely tight and epic, continuously spiralling new elements that were gripping, funny, relatable and incredibly moving.

Hoes is themed around women empowerment, mental health, value of single-hood and sisterhood, compassion, deeper understanding of self, feeling powerless, difficulties of being in a relationship and feeling you’re missing out and the crucial factors of support. Writer Ifeyinwa Frederick’s had mentioned her debut play focuses on the insecurities of women today. Elements within her playwright root from conflicting perspectives she has seen and identified, which encouraged her to elaborate on it. Hoes is a meaningful expression of minds and attitude existing in the nineteenth century, a very well put together and constructed play.

Tanica Psalmist

Sweet like Chocolate Boy review by Tanica Psalmist- Jack Studio theatre

(5 / 5)

Sweet like Chocolate Boy by Triston Fynn Aiduenu is a remarkable, animated and innovative play; containing infatuating and exhilarating factors exploited. The casts Andrew Umerah, Alice Fofana, Michael Levi Fatogun and Veronica Beatrice Lewis had all done a fantastic job playing various characters. They explored themes of love, racism, police intimidation, ghetto and posh differentiations and similarities, embarking on the stigmas attached when referred to as a bounty.

I managed to speak with the director Triston, to get an insight into the origin of the idea of having the casts play different roles. Fortunately, he touched on this element mentioning how it was based on him wanting different members of the audience to affiliate themselves with a particular character and see qualities that resonated. I then asked Triston why personal identification conveyed through characterisation was an aspect he explored. Triston replied saying that through people seeing traits that connected with them personally, it would not only be more relatable but also create a more realistic perception of a recognisable world we know and live in.

Sweet like Chocolate boy is an unapologetic production, examining aspects of real lie scenarios. The different dynamics shown is Black empowerment, spiritual connectivity and the importance of healthy bonds between the youth and parent’s with the effects of how not having that bond reciprocates negative effects on the mind and triggers emotional instability. The play also showed the dynamic of having domineering low-key racist friends and the consequences erupted through being too trusting of them.

The production touched base with the fundamental values of sisterhood, brotherhood, upbringing and the guidance from elders foretelling the pros and cons of how their impact stimulates the youth’s conscious mind and will wild out if not tamed. The incorporation of subtle physical theatre movements was used to express their internal nature, power and freedom; enchanting a sense of ease as well as mental, spiritual and emotional stability.

One of the interesting elements was the presence of a God, divine energy representative. She remained stood in front of boxes throughout the entire production which changed colours when reflecting differing moods or tension. The huge boxes surrounding her lit up to these beautiful, graceful colours, her role was transparent as she hovered her arms over the boxes, constantly moving her arms in a mysterious, majestic way. Her facial expressions reflected her thoughts allowing the audience to sense how she felt during a scene, highlighting all crucial moments.

Sweet like Chocolate Boy is daring and enticing. Each scene contains high energy fused with scenes that’s emotional and fundamental as a fabricated England is shown reflecting life living in an estate. This  play is extremely entertaining as it features scenes filled with sexual innuendos, soulful, remixed garage music encouraging the audience to sing along, making Sweet like Chocolate Boy brilliantly distinctive, enjoyable and hysterical to watch.

Tanica Psalmist.

Review for The Laud of the Rings by Tanica Psalmist – Camden People’s Theatre

(4 / 5)

Josh Gardner’s unique story-telling production entails mix documentation and an anarchic approach to performance. Josh elaborates on privilege and migration through the use of absurd. A space where he isn’t afraid of breaking the fourth wall or going against theatre rules or maintaining his dry humour which not everyone gets but it seemed he purposely wanted to convey that aspect to his character. The Laud of the rings tells the tale of Josh wanting to save Europe by re-enacting Frodo’s journey to Mordor, travelling from Oxford to Istanbul dressed as a hobbit.

The Laud of the Rings is a captivating and provocative performance that follows desperate attempts to live out a fantasy world in a black wig, plastic feet and have an encounter with a Serbian border police officer, as reality and fiction collide in an epic re-make of The Lord of the Rings.

The production is very immersive, it became intriguing when he would climb into the audiences space to sit among them, get the audiences participation by choosing individually who to read out his scripts and jumping on to the stage to blow up a giant, plastic sphere with a noisy air compressor.

There’s episodes where Josh risks the use of being ‘disorganised throughout his performance’ and scatty with minor control on stage, especially as he leaves the theatre nowhere to been seen again, leaving the audience members no opportunity to properly applaud, some audience members went off to find him in the giant, plastic sphere rolling around outside.

Laud Of The Rings is slightly weird, funny and slightly unsettling. It can take a lot for you to laugh, grasp the concept of his character and relate to the emotions of his character sincerely. Josh for me is a man with a gift for deadpan humor, not knowing if he was being generally serious or not made his act original, as he wasn’t scared to be daring or challenging.

 

Review for Coat by Tanica Psalmist – Albany Theatre

(5 / 5)

Coat is a solo play performed and written by Yomi Sode. Coat exhibits Yomi’s life growing up as an English citizen with Nigerian descent. What better way to not only present a personal autobiography reflective of his life, but also create sensory through delicious smells to escort the audiences mind in to Yomi’s world.

The layout of the set was an interior design kitchen, featuring compartments as well as electric hobs installed to embody a stove; where he prepped his basmati rice, tomato stew and marinated chicken breasts. The aromatic smells majestically presented the feel of an enticing household, with a kitchen surface fused with ingredients ready to cook with. As the sweet smelling aromas emitted into the atmosphere with smoke ascending from the pots steaming into Yomi’s face, he stood there smiling to himself in the mists of his busy environment slicing, stirring and calling out to his mum for her acknowledgment.

Coat explores the themes of identity, belonging and origin, documenting real life scenario’s and issues growing up in London. When you’re not entirely understood, shown appreciation of your cultural differences, underrepresented in the media, being an ethnic minority in your school so frequently hear miss-pronunciation’s of your name when called by the tutor, leading to mockery and ignorance from peers, not realising the emotional damage it causes. Ashamed of being seen wearing traditional dress wear, feeling convicted when confronted and being contradicting when questioned to whether he’d identified as a Black British, a Londoner or as a Nigerian. Confused, misguided and unappreciated when he does answer and having respect lost and feeling detached from himself.

Not black enough when living in the UK, not African enough for not speaking the Native tongue and facing flaws of not feeling man enough. The narrative in Coat did a good job in portraying mental conflict, emotional battles and the complications of juggling two cultures. A production reflecting personal insight in to Yomi’s tradition and up-bringing from a boy into a man by his mum; reaching a state of appreciating how to cook a traditional dish, receive acknowledgment from his mum and peace of mind once he knows who he is and where he’s from.

Coat is hysterical as Yomi uses multi-rolling techniques to impersonate several roles brilliantly including his mother, marked by the changing of voices, movement, gesture and body language.  An organically humorous and culturally entertaining, emotionally impacting play, that’s full of relatable, iconic scenes with incorporated elements of spoken word.

 

 

Tanica Psalmist

It Tastes Like Home, Divergent Theatre Collective, The Bread and Roses Theatre by Tanica Psalmist

(4 / 5)

Dim sum dumplings with Jerk chicken, Jerk chicken in dim sum dumplings with Plantain; two different worlds come together, fusion of oriental spices and Jamaican entices. A tale of relatable sacrifices and connections made via online devices.

It Tastes Like Home is written by Lorna Wells, music by Eudora Yutong Qiuo; which is fused with Reggae and Chinese influences.

 

Two well cultured people connect to reflect a cooking career as a chef. Curry goat with egg fried rice, sparkles a seasoned, yummy paradise. Inspiring them to exercise their passion for food with the hope to one day see the desires of their heart breakthrough to make good food. The character Yi who’s of Chinese descent wears a mysterious mask to disguise him-self when doing online reviews, which leads on to the character Camillia from Jamaican descent to discover his channel and tune in whenever he appears online to update the world on upcoming dishes that his parents Chinese restaurant supplies. Oblivious Camillia, doesn’t know she’s a regular visitor of the mysterious bloggers restaurant, however Yi does which is hysterical as Yi wants to make his attraction to the Island girl evident, but nervous of approval from his Asian parents. We see an insight into cultures, traditions, stereotypes and complexities when being from either background.

A beautiful tale of two worlds in one life, themed around interracial relationships, intertwined culture, family standards, biracial acceptance, Identity and family disputes. An emotional cycle of when harmony fulfils happiness and morals and passion are stirred together. A multicultural musical exploring a unique production of the first generations who are London based searching for hope and belonging.

Tanica Psamist

 

 

Womb Paves Way, The Place, Ffion-Campbell-Davies by Tanica Psalmist

 

(5 / 5)

 

During the beginning sequence of this dance piece we saw a tranquil essence of her head carrying a basket. Ffion resembles traditional class, depicting strong and dignified ethnic women. Ffion walks eloquently at ease whilst balancing flawlessly from afar in the dark, gradually getting closer to the moonlit spotlight, elegantly lifting the basket from her head into her arms to hold, scattering what looked like red petals on to the ground to surround her; simultaneously singing aloud ‘wade in the water’.

She was dressed in a white colonial dress, which had a petticoat style, made out of light fabrics consisting of cotton and silk. Ffion dressed in this way conveyed a representation of her ancient character, an ancestor, whose generation would later become an inhabitant of a colony.

She sang in mid-range Soprano, however suddenly her tone of voice swiftly transitioned into trembling unsettling sound effects with heavy gushing, gasp noises. This calm character had now presented emotions of pain, worry, hurt, neglect and sorrow. Her stability, balance and movement were now operating in opposition to her original energy. Her speed, direction of her body exhibited a perceived sense of disturbia in her characterisation leading her body to begin to twist and turn, push and pull, dive and duck, bend and crease as well as crawl and sweep up everything that had fallen out of her basket and lost with no hope of accumulating anything back. She slowly gave up and climbed into her basket whilst looking around her with a sense of burden and struck of darkness and curse upon her.

FFion Campbell-Davies in Womb Paves Way, (c) Carole Edrich 2018

Elimination of the torture identified in this woman spiritually came to an end once Ffion stepped out of the basket positioning her body directly to face the eyes of the audience, where we see she had more to say then give. Her soft radiant voice emotionally connecting, stemmed from her strong introductory to her family’s history, background and effects of colonialism. Ffion presented a strong autobiography of her conscious state of mind on her ancestry, with what it conveyed to her being a female on the rope to self-discovery, identity and self-expression. She then took us through an emotional journey, radiating a translucent spiritual longing for connectivity through the expression of dance, her choice of movement is daring, thrilling and resonating as the flexibility of her limbs leads her to strip down to comfortability, taking off her heap-wrap, undoing her braids so that she could caress her hair, she then subtly took of the top layer of her dress to be more free and sensual with her creativity, freedom and openness to the acknowledgment of her body.

Ffion’s sensory of movement is breathtakingly subjective and rational, deeper into her connectivity to her ancestry and acceptance of her women-identity and culture; she submits uplifting, rooted, tribal movements symbolising an unchained, happy and charismatic attitude to her individuality and regenerated mind-set. Ffion’s increased energy and fluidity from her feet travelled through to her arms projecting aspiration, hope, structure, purpose and gratitude.

A heartfelt, passionate, sincere, genuine, deep and fulfilling story told through dance, compelling music and storytelling. Conveying a fusion of emotion and reaching a place of acceptance in your skin and being; as well as having obedience to the fruits of your sprit in order to receive enlightenment, self-love, value and happiness of your nature.

Tanica Psalmist

 

Review Chav by Kelly Green, Camdens Peoples Theatre by Tanica Psalmist

Chav is a performed and written by Kelly Green, the play foretells Kelly Green’s internal story from when she was a girl developing in to a woman finding herself and articulating her voice as a lady, who was a single mum who felt disconnected to society and affiliated to labels by judgmental critics in her community.

All photo credits Ali Wright

We see how fate was a gateway for her to escape her pain and permitted an escape for her to willingly explore herself as a PHD student, artist and employee. Her performance cultivates awareness of a captivating society that’s held within a social culture, easily lost and withdrawn from the torment inflicted in to young females, who may also be struggling to adjust to life, fitting into the stereotype of a chav.

Chav is an immersive, sticky and engaging solo play; an autobiographical journey expressing academic discrimination, family complexities, class struggles, judgments, political support, working- class female identity and internal conflicts circulated around growing up in anger from not being taken seriously by the masses. This play is a testimonial in to what middle class individuals’ life can detect growing up feeling detached from home, school and portraying a stereotypical chav in their social life.

Chav is fused with breaking fourth wall elements, projections, hysterical clichés and frustrations, exportation of an exact depiction of the struggle. The audience experiences phases of a rave feel with a depiction of the sentimental feelings and the fabrication of England. This production is enticed with expressions and intimate real life moments and powerful emotions which we can all relate to in spite of our class.

Tanica Psalmist