A blast of pure class and sophistication in the shape of Apphia Campbell ended in a standing ovation at The Old Market.

Campbell wrote and performed in her one-woman play Black Is The Color Of My Voice inspired by the life and music of Nina Simone.

The story follows jazz musician and civil rights activist Mena Bordeaux whose life echoes the turbulent life of Simone.

Mena is locked in her flat undergoing a three-day detox while mourning the death of her beloved father. Her story unveils as she carries out a one-sided conversation of love, violence and regrets occasionally interspersed with snippets of songs by Simone.

Campbell is a stunning performer with an intense command of the stage ranging from fragile child to sassy soul star to vulnerable, broken adult. Mena’s story of hope, disappointment and anger covers the history of the Civil Rights movement in the US during the 1960s.

And what a voice. Sweet, soulful and moving, she captures the depth of Simone’s power while not attempting a twee impersonation. I’d pay good money simply to hear her sing again.

Five stars