Noughts and Crosses promotional poster

Noughts & Crosses production ticks all the right boxes

Kingston’s Rose Theatre welcomed Pilot Theatre’s Noughts & Crosses production to the stage from 31 January to 11 February. 

Noughts & Crosses was adapted to stage by Sabrina Manfouz after Malorie Blackman’s successful dystopian book series which also was adapted to TV by the BBC in 2020.

The production follows the first books story, Noughts & Crosses, which discuss prejudice, politics, romance, family and coming of age dilemmas alongside many other important issues that modern society face.

These issues are narrated interchangeably through the different perspectives of the main characters – Sephy, a Cross, and Callum, a Nought.

The roles in society are switched with the black population of Britain, the Crosses, being seen as the hegemonic group who are prejudicial towards the white Noughts. 

Sephy and Callum’s worlds entwine despite separate and segregated upbringings however the struggles of politics, family life and distrust become an obstacle in their relationship which they have to navigate through.   

Callum and Sephy. Credit: Liv Buckley.

This modern day Romeo and Juliet story highlights the systematic racism Britain still holds with links to the class system, the Civil Rights Movement and terrorism to show how society has perhaps become blind to it all.

Actors, Effie Ansash and James Arden do a wonderful job in their first leading roles on stage as Sephy and Callum and truly do bring these beloved book characters to life. 

Many secondary schools opt to have Noughts & Crosses on the English Literature syllabus in order for young people to understand the powerful message and to encourage people to be apart of the change society needs to fight racism. 

The target audience is largely young adults of all genders, with the odd school trip in suit, although those older than the demographic are most definitely welcome.

The Pilot Theatre is making its run through the UK, with its eyes set on the final performance at Curve, Leicester on 1 April.

Tickets can vary from £15 to £30 depending on the seating band with discounts for children, students, senior citizens and personal assistants.  

With pre-established high expectations this production didn’t disappoint and is not to be missed, not only is it educational but it is also an amazing piece of theatre that your eyes can’t be drawn from and will leave your heart aching.

Audiences looking for a light-hearted relief however should look elsewhere due to the serious and upsetting topics.

Featured image credit: Liv Buckley

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