An Octoroon is an anarchic, reckless achievement, which will feel bold to even the most progressive audience members. Inverting the uncomfortable history of 'black face', the cast don black, white and red face-paint to play characters of different races. The black playwright character directs from the sidelines, with increasingly strange, specific demands. The brutal history of slavery is played out with cartoonish, over-the-top bravura. And the referential, meta-textual connection to Boucicault's 1859 text adds an extra layer of potency, as a black American writer re-works the legacy of his white predecessor.