The Incident is a play by Swedish playwright Joakim Daun about migration and racism.
Monica (Cassandra Hercules) is a Zimbabwean PhD Student who moves to Sweden to complete her studies and to follow her boyfriend Jon (David Weiss). She will have to face challenges while adapting to the new context and striving for a sense of belonging, torn between the prospect of personal growth and a simpler life in her beloved hometown. This thought-provoking play addresses the issues that most immigrants face when moving to a mostly-white and male-dominated country, with specific references to the Swedish current climate. These issues are at the centre of the plot, and tackled in a very strong and direct way; maybe too direct, as racism and xenophobia can be much more subtle, and therefore treacherous.
Cassandra is very good at portraying the young, smart and colourful Monica; Joakim is good at portraying a caring but typical European man, though his acting is a bit flat at times, making the pace of the play intermittent. There is also a loop in the narrative, as at the end some facts relating to the incident are not clarified.
Having said that, the message of the play is really about acceptance of diversity and every-day bullying that many people suffer just because of the colour of their skin, and sparks lots of questions that were discussed and explored at the Q&A that followed.
The Incident is at Canada Water Theatre from Tuesday 16 to Friday 19 October
Review: Giancarlo Angelucci