Leave Taking

by Winsome Pinnock

Leave Taking

Wednesday 21st September – Saturday 1st October

Directed by Landé Belo
At the Tower Theatre, Stoke Newington

Buy Tickets :
Wednesday 21st September at 7.30
Thursday 22nd September at 7.30
Friday 23rd September at 7.30
Saturday 24th September at 3.00
Saturday 24th September at 7.30
Tuesday 27th September at 7.30
Wednesday 28th September at 7.30
Thursday 29th September at 7.30
Friday 30th September at 7.30
Saturday 1st October at 3.00
Saturday 1st October at 7.30

We want our audiences to feel as safe as possible and we understand that not everyone is ready to return to full capacity in our venue so the performance on Saturday 24th September at 3.00 will be a socially-distanced performance. This means we will operate with reduced capacity, spaced seating and our Front-of-House volunteers will wear face coverings. Audience members are asked to wear masks unless they are exempt.

“What they know about a black woman soul?”

1984, Easter Monday and not many buses are running, yet God-fearing and hymn-singing Enid drags her two teenage daughters across town to Deptford for a séance with obeah woman Mai.  This unleashes much soul searching, uncomfortable truths, secrets being revealed and a long overdue interrogation of the past.  With humour, compassion and urgency, Leave Taking examines inter-generational conflict, mother-daughter relationships and the plight of first-and-second-generation immigrants, navigating the dichotomy of dislocation from their origins and not belonging in their own future.  Though focusing on a family of Jamaican heritage, Leave Taking is a play which resonates cross-culturally. 

Perhaps to the consternation of its award-winning playwright, Winsome Pinnock, ‘Godmother of Black British playwrights’, the themes and issues explored almost 40 years ago in Leave Taking are as relevant today in the wake of the Windrush Scandal and the so-called “compliant environment”.
Winsome Pinnock has recently been awarded the prestigious Windham-Campbell Prize for Drama. More details about that here.

Cast

Mai : Faith Miamba
Enid Matthews : Lina Rhymes
Del Matthews : Chanté Frazer
Viv Matthews : Cerise Angela
Broderick : Maxveal Mclaren

Production Team

Director : Landé Belo
Set Design : Ayo Oluwaleimu
Costume Design : Derin Oluwaleimu
Lighting Design : Nick Insley
Sound Design : Ruth Sullivan

Stage Manager : Patrice North
Fight Choreographer : Richard Kirby
Dialect & Accent Coach : Julette Burnett
PR & Marketing : Simi Belo
Trailer : Jacques Parraga-Michitsch, Valentina Rios Caro
Faith RocquesThis is Faith Miamba's Tower Theatre debut. She has taken numerous acting classes at the City Lit and trained in the Meisner Technique with the Impulse Company. She was delighted when she came across the Tower Theatre, seeing it as an opportunity to put her new skills into practice. By day Faith works full time as a Psychotherapist for an emergency service by night she enjoys theatre, writing and going to her local gym.

Lina RhymesLina Rhymes has performed spoken word at various shows, including as a special guest at the Hackney Empire. Her acting credits include performing in musicals such as Hairspray, Little Shop of Horrors and Hold Up at local theatres and various scratch nights. She has done some voice over work and has also worked with children providing workshops in poetry and dance. Her creativity extends to hairdressing and dressmaking.

Chanté FrazerThis is Chanté Frazer’s Tower Theatre debut. With experience in delivering exceptional performances across Theatre, Film, Commercial, TV and Voice Overs, she is excited to be playing Del in Leave Taking, resonating strongly with her own Caribbean heritage. From a young age Chanté has honed her performance skills through training at Jigsaw Performing Arts School, Identity School of Acting, Middleweek Newton Actors Academy and more. Her recent stage credits include Ethan’s Bell, The History On The Road and The Secret Love Life of Ophelia.

Maxveal MclarenMaxveal Mclaren received his actor training at City Academy and the Identity School of Acting. He has had small speaking parts in various television programmes including Silent Witness, Ted Lasso and Midsomer Murders. Max's theatre debut was this year, in The Gift at the Coventry Criterion where he played the double role of Captain James Davies and James Cheshire. This will be his first performance at the Tower Theatre.

Cerise AngelaThis is Cerise Angela's first production with the Tower Theatre. She has recently performed at the Arthur Cotterell Theatre and is currently training for a BA in Acting and Performance, with previous training at Identity School of Acting. Cerise also has voice acting credits in audio dramas including Bluebird (2021) and an upcoming project, The Leap, as a variety of characters. Cerise is excited to be a part of Leave Taking and have the opportunity to participate in a play representing her heritage.

Landé BeloLandé Belo’s directing credits with the Tower include: Fix Up (2019); I can’t breathe: being black in a time of Covid (part of the Love [and Survival] Festival) (2021) and Mules (2021).  She also worked as Assistant Director on To Kill A Mocking Bird (2018) and Sweat (2020).  During lockdown, she co-produced The Tower Theatre Podcast and directed and acted in various plays on Virtual Tower.    
Her acting credits with the Tower include: Francine/Lena in Clybourne Park; multiple characters in Doctor Faustus; Prudence in The House of Bernarda Alba; Pope Joan/Louise in Top Girls; Jellaby in Arcadia and Cynthia in Sweat.
Previously a member of the Tower Theatre Artistic Team, she currently sits on Tower’s Board of Trustees.   She is an advocate of socially engaged and inclusive programming and has driven various initiatives to bring about more diversity and inclusion to Tower Theatre and the creative arts industry.  She is particularly passionate about promoting black, female voices in theatre.