FRINGE 2020: Josephine – 4.5K – Black Box Theatre at Noel Lothian Hall

Josephine Baker was a unique woman – once the most famous entertainer in the world, Baker later became a French Resistance spy during WWII, a civil rights activist in her native USA, and went on to adopt 12 children, at one time living with all of them in Princess Grace of Monaco’s personal villa. Baker lived a full, exciting life, but not one without knowing prejudice and derision at the hand of her homeland.

Josephine is an utterly charming tribute to the iconic Baker, and tells tales about her life, from when she was an 11-year-old child caught up in the 1917 race riots to her death in Paris in 1975. We hear about her move to Paris, where she was celebrated universally. We see her many affairs with famous writers, painters, and creatives of her time. She tells us about her pet cheetah and her menagerie of other exotic pets. An encapsulating experience, you leave with a strong desire to learn more about this exciting woman.

Josephine herself is played to perfection by Tymisha Harris, who is completely charismatic and has you hooked from the moment she’s on stage. Whether it’s performing her infamous banana dance, to touching moments of marching on Washington with Martin Luther King, Jr., Harris sells every moment she’s on stage, and is a delight to watch.

The show is near perfect; it may be a touch too long, but don’t let that deter you from this excellent piece of theatre. You won’t regret an evening with Josephine.

Kryztoff Rating: 4.5K

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