Actor/writer Christopher Tajah of Resistance Theatre Company gives an impassioned performance in Dream Of A King at theSpace Triplex, as he reimagines the hours leading up to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
Heart-felt and full of missionary zeal.
The action is set in Room 306 of the Lorraine Motel, Memphis, a respectable place that catered specifically for black clients. King arrived there on 29th March 1968, in support of black public works employees who were on strike for equal wages and better conditions. A bomb threat had delayed his flight, and the famous "I've been to the mountain top" speech he gave at Mason Temple. On 3rd April, he revealed the increasing concern he had for his safety. At 6.01pm on 4th April, while standing on a balcony, he was fatally shot by James Earl Ray.
The story is so well known that Tajah can clearly offer no surprises on that front. Although the telephone conversation about King’s extra-marital affair perhaps provides a revelatory element of human weakness and fallibility to the preacher, amidst all his virtue. Instead, it is the telling of the story, through reminiscences and extracts from the speeches, that make this an engaging performance and a reminder of the great struggle King and his movement were involved in to secure civil rights. It’s a forceful display that sometimes turns up the volume for too long, but there is no doubting the emotional attachment to everything he says. The scene is set and further enhanced by Tajah’s sister Paulette’s live singing.
Dream Of A King is a worthy contribution to the many tributes that have been paid to this great leader. Tajah’s performance is heart-felt and full of missionary zeal.