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ANGELS & RACE

Tony Kushner's Angels in America is a "gay fantasia on national themes" in more than one sense of the word 'gay'. Watching it again at the National over two decades after its first appearance, I thought, for once the hyperbole & hype are entirely spot-on. Kushner's play is uncompromising, exciting, provocative and joyously modern,  capturing in its vast sweep so much of the urgent concerns of today. Not least about race and migration. 

It made me you sit up on the edge of my seat when the rabid right-winger (and serial denier of his own sexuality) Ray Cohn let's unfurl one of his many great lines: "Labels tell you one thing and one thing only: where does the individual so identified fit in the food chain, in the pecking order? Not ideology, or sexual taste [or Race I might add], but something much simpler: clout..." And as we know so well from campaigns like Act for Change, it is clout that so many minorities lack.

 

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