Tuesday, October 3

Tag: Family Tree

Family Tree – Everyman Theatre, Liverpool
North West

Family Tree – Everyman Theatre, Liverpool

Matthew Xia has produced an outstanding serving of unremembered history. A fascinating celebration of black life, past and present, and the importance of what connects us all in the human condition. Mojisola Adebayo’ s powerful words were tackled by the cast with sensitivity and flare, and a quick mention to Aminita Francis for handling the difficult poetic language of Henrietta Lacks with nuance and verve. This is a story that spans ninety minutes but captures centuries. A performance that does not shy from cultural celebration but shares the infectious energy of Diane Alison-Mitchell’s traditional dance and Francesca Amewudah-Rivers cultural song. It will definitely make you smile. It was evident that a lot of research has been put into this production. It is a searing lesson o...
Family Tree – Brixton House
London

Family Tree – Brixton House

"Black is everything. Black is life." Let yourself be introduced to Henrietta Lacks, the inhabitant of petri dishes who you might already know, without knowing it. In this production of Mojisola Adebayo's Family Tree, directed by Matthew Xia, the audience will find a very sensitive and warm approach to difficult topics that need to be addressed, with deep historic roots, and ramifications up to our times. The play has the magnificent performances of Aminita Francis as Henrietta Lacks; Mofetoluwa Akande as Ain, Anarcha and Oshun; Keziah Joseph as Bibi and Betsey and Aimeé Powell as Lyn and Lucy, and the pertinent and silent participation of Alistair Hall as the Smoking Man. The group delivers for astonishing poetical texts, embodied in a beautiful way. The show starts with a speech f...
Family Tree – Traverse Theatre
Scotland

Family Tree – Traverse Theatre

This production, by Actors Touring Company and Belgrade Theatre Coventry, in association with Brixton House, is about Henrietta Lacks (played here by Aminita Francis) the African-American woman who was the unwitting source of the cancer cells now known as the HeLa cell line, the first immortalized human cell line and one which continues to be a source of invaluable medical data to the present day, from helping fight cancer, to HIV, to COVID. However, her cells were taken without her or her family’s knowledge or permission (they only found out decades after her death, and by accident) and continue to be exploited financially. Henrietta was not the only black woman whose body has been exploited. In some cases, such as this, it was by the medical establishment with some kind of medical ba...
Family Tree – Kings Arms, Salford
North West

Family Tree – Kings Arms, Salford

Peripeteia Theatre Company have created a show with a worthy cause at its heart - a same sex couple wanting to bring a baby into already overpopulated and polluted world. This is a strait-laced two-hander play which is inspired by Lungs written by Duncan Macmillan. When I arrived at the Kings Arms and was greeted to individual tables with fairy lights and a good soundtrack, I had high expectations. However, when the baby-faced actors (Layla Hopps and Rebecca Gray) stepped on stage there was just no energy and sadly it never really picked up. Perhaps it was a case of first night nerves? While the plot is good and writer (Adam Cachia) gave the team lots to work with, sadly a lot of this potential was not realised. The synopsis in the program included words like ‘political unrest’,...