Elaine Lanighan is moved by a timely insight into Martin Luther King

Yes, I have been to the mountaintop, and I saw the dream!

The set: a low lit motel room with twin beds, orange curtains, kitsch furniture and a dial up phone on a bedside cabinet. Room 306.

A comely, curvy maid sits in the room, gently crooning to herself. She quietly disappears to atmospheric roaring thunder and a heavy downpour of rain, which served to make The North Wall space not just intimate, but cosy.

Dr Martin Luther King Jr, played by Gbolahan Obisesa, who bears a striking likeness to the great man (and an even greater likeness to his powerful voice), is weary and tired as he enters the room.

“Why, America is going to hell; why America is going to hell,” he repeats. Voluptuous maid, Camae, in the form of Rochelle Rose, is sassy, opinionated, and not afraid to show him.

They share flirtations, cigarettes and talk. She knows things about him which he can’t fathom, fuelling his paranoia. He’s already checked the phone and lights for bugs. He searches again.

Is she an angelic apparition? This is her first day. But she was no angel in her past: “Who needs wings when you have these to get you where you need to go,” she exclaims, cupping her fulsome breasts.

“What have we in common?” He takes a Pinter-esque pause while considering his answer: “Fear”.

At one point in Mountaintop, King confronts hellfire – an uncannily realistic visual effect throwing up plumes of smoke that circle and swirl, creating their own spooky figures, adding to the surrealism.

At the point of death, as he falls, we again experience thunderous noises and flashing lights, which send emotionally-charged shivers through me.

Camae, in probably the most powerful performance, part cries out, part raps, as we see a montage of influential figures projected at the back of stage, people who’d “picked up the baton” and passed it on after King’s death: singers, actors, athletes, politicians. Dr King rises up and preaches directly to us, soliciting an “Amen” from the audience.

Spellbinding and inspirational, it is a fitting commemoration of the 50th year of Dr King’s assassination.