KKuumba Nia Arts and Unity Arts came together to present an extraordinary new play with music, movement and multimedia. Finding Beulah, written by Amantha Edmead, is an ambitious and intriguing piece of theatre.

The play begins in ancient times in a part of Africa we know as Ghana. Their belief is that males and females were made in pairs — one completing the other. This pairing passes from incarnation to incarnation. When they are together their twin inner flames (essential spiritual energies) burn brightest; when apart they dwindle.

In the first half, the story shows one couple’s meetings in different lifetimes, with snapshots of key events in black history — from the idyllic pastoral beginnings, through the torments of abduction and slavery, the upheavals of the post-war diaspora from the Caribbean to Britain, to the radical politics of 1970s New York.

Following the interval, the story is propelled into the near future, depicting a world of economic confusion from which the African nations decide to seize economic independence for their continent and establish their own societal models as opposed to those imposed from the West. The latest incarnation of our couple are torn between leaving the lives they have in England or joining this utopian movement back in Africa. It’s an exciting and unpredictable twist in the plot and really interesting political theatre.

Lati Saka, as the Spirit who narrates and weaves this epic story together, enraptured the audience. The couple played by Ben Owora and Ayo Dele deftly morphed from character to character while maintaining a subtle continuous thread running through them all. Writer Amantha Edmead was most engaging as the journalist who comments on the new order of an economically chaotic world and possible utopian solution for the African continent. Adding hugely to the show were the film and video effects of David Wall and the Lati Saka’s choreography.