Review | Online Production | Black Matter – Giles Terera*

Rating: 5/5
Streaming From: 24th March to 31st March
Tickets and more information:
Photo credit: Dan Poole.

Olivier Award winner Giles Terera has composed a 12 strong song cycle documenting the life he saw in (arguably) London’s busiest borough of Soho as initial lockdown restrictions eased over the summer. His song cycle has been documented in a solo performance filmed and recorded at the Crazy Coqs in Soho with just Giles accompanying himself on guitar and piano. Having seen Giles play Aaron Burr in Hamilton a couple of years ago, I was glad to see that the stage presence he commanded then is still absolutely present in this filmed concert even when he’s by myself. Combining that with beautiful storytelling makes Black Matter an absolute must watch amongst the digital theatre productions that are available.

In terms of the actual performance, despite not having an audience present, I still felt like Giles was able to create a connection with us, as audience members. This is due to his fantastic storytelling both in and out of songs. His lyrics paint a strong picture of Soho and the people there, I could easily visualise it. For someone who worked in Soho 5 days a week before working from home came into play, I really miss the area and I think Giles captures the atmosphere of Soho, both the good and the bad, perfectly. I adored his lyricism, which felt very reminiscent of the storytelling on Taylor Swift’s album folklore which is right up my street. I really do hope that Giles releases the music as an album one day, if the piece is this good acoustically, I can only imagine how great it will be with a full band behind it.

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