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Fanuco’s taking English lessons from the only American he knows. The thing is, she’s the FBI’s most wanted woman and he’s a Cuban teenager desperate to live the American Dream.
When will he realize his mentor is a former Black Panther, a convicted felon and has a million dollars on her head?
About the Author
Kalungi Ssebandeke was specially selected for the BBC Writers Room London Voices, and Soho Theatre’s Writers Lab. He was also selected for the Lyric Hammersmith Ten Week Writers Programme.
'It's almost a twist on Willy Russell's Educating Rita – not just language lessons laced with class warfare, but a student aspiring to everything his tutor despises. Fanuco's infatuation with all things American, from its hip-hop stars to its suave black president, runs counter to Assata's unswerving anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist stance... Ssebandeke captures, brilliantly, the ambiguity of Assata herself... She is, Ssebandeke makes clear, stuck in the past, listening to old vinyl records and clinging to old enmities. Is that down to her - a woman who puts her African ancestry ahead of her American identity – or down to the country that cast her adrift? ... nothing if not pulse-quickening.' What's On Stage ★★★★
'The play is a solid piece of theatre – often funny, often sad... Without giving away too much, the way the scene cashes in on the sexual dynamic (or, the previous lack of sexual tension) between the two characters is pretty masterful, and I only acknowledged the breath I was holding in when it was all over.' Exeunt
'In Kalungi Ssebandeke’s first full length play, the woman who topped the FBI’s most wanted list befriends a young black Cuban man who is desperate to get to America... The audience enter the theatre through Assata’s front door, crossing the roughly tiled floor that runs up through the aisles on both side of the traverse stage. Once the play begins we are locked in. Throughout, the door is watched like a hawk, often with Assata’s handgun trained on it, proof that the freedom her student seeks in America is not as simple as he imagines.' The Stage