Tar Baby Auckland Arts Festival Review

Tar Baby is an epic one women show that is as confronting as it is comedic and aims to ‘Beat the s?#t’ out of racism’.

Desiree Burch gives a passionately personal performance as part ringmaster, part comedian, part dramatic actress as she takes us through a historical perspective of African American history and her everyday experiences as a black women and performer.

There’s an air of awkwardness and discomfort amongst the audience as this topic of ‘race’ is not one we are used to being so provocatively presented with. Moments of silence or just unease result from this feeling of the unknown parts we will play in this interactive piece. But, don’t worry you’re in excellent hands, this isn’t a rant or a show made to leave you uncomfortable it’s just a women telling you her story and the history that shapes who she is and who we/the world might judge her to be. An incredibly brave exposure that’s admirable for it’s content and tireless energy.

Her carefully presented, poetic, clever and at times explosive monologues can be incredibly emotionally stirring, with many of the audience wiping away tears. But alongside this comes laughter, warmth, kindness and love and an overall sense of togetherness come the final lights out.

A masterful and entertaining piece of theatre that will bring you to a unique place and let you walk in another’s shoes. Games, songs and witty throught-provoking content make Tar Baby an unforgettable experience.

Check out, in fact don’t miss, Desiree in Tar Baby at Auckland Arts Festival until 6 March.

Reviewed by Ingrid Grenar