A Raisin in the Sun Review


Tonight I went along to my first ever show at STC’s Wharf Theatre and was lucky enough to see Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun.

Jacob Warner, Zahra Newman and Bert LaBonté in A Raisin in the Sun, 2022. Photo by Joseph Mayers ©

The story follows an African-American family’s exertion to improve their lives by buying a home in a racially restricted neighbourhood in the 1950s. This play covers many topical themes and issues. When this play was first produced it held major significance, and re-staging this play now encourages us to look back and reflect on how far we have (or haven’t) come since then. A Raisin in the Sun investigates differences in classes and privilege, oppression towards People of Colour, and the way men treat women. These are definitely issues that are still relevant today, and that people can unfortunately still relate to.

One of my favourite elements of this play was the set – a realistic, detailed, and accurate representation of a small apartment in Chicago. The performers made great use of this space that remained in one setting for the whole show. They also utilised two exposed side rooms that only the audience could see, drawing us in right from the opening scene.

Gayle Samuels and Angela Mahlatjie in A Raisin in the Sun, 2022. Photo by Joseph Mayers ©

The highlight of my night was Angela Mahlatjie’s performance of Beneatha Younger. Her comedic timing, authenticity, and convincing nature was such a standout. She also paired with other comedic characters that broke up the longer sections of the play; such as George and Mrs Johnson, who I also found very strong. All of the actor’s accents were consistent and accurate. At tonight’s performance, one of the leads Ruth was played by an understudy. Unfortunately, this had quite an impact on the show. The understudy did a remarkable job despite being called in at late notice, but the use of the script on stage was a bit distracting and did take away from the believability of the storytelling.

Personally, I love the idea of a classic Broadway play coming to life again, however, I felt it wasn’t the most engaging or exciting piece of theatre. However, there were many moments that made me laugh, and a very warm crowd created nice energy in the room. I would recommend this show for an older audience, not due to having adult themes, but because the content is fairly long and might not hold the attention of a younger age group.

3 Stars.

Liv, 15 [she/her]

Sydney Theatre Company’s A Raisin in the Sun played at the Wharf Theatre until the 15th of October.