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A tree-riffic play about South Africa

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Issue 2666
Alfred Enoch as Kaelo in Tree—an immersive, interactive play
Alfred Enoch as Kaelo in Tree—an immersive, interactive play (Pic: Marc Brenner)

Tree, by Idris Elba and Kwame Kwei-Armah, is an incredible immersive experience.

From the minute you walk in you are involved in the story, with the cast encouraging you onto the stage to dance with them. As the play unfolds it tells the story of Kaelo—played by Alfred Enoch.

He embarks on a journey to his parent’s homeland of South Africa to try and discover more about his family’s history.

The audience is continually involved throughout the play.

Cast members frequently walk through the audience and pull members of the crowd on stage at different points.

In protest scenes placards are handed out to audience members while the action continues on stage, making it feel as if you are really there.

The play shows the raw horrors of South African apartheid and the long lasting effect it has had on not only the people but also the land.

The play emphasises how the land on Kaelo’s grandmother’s farm—and land in general—cannot be truly owned by one person because it has such a history.

In the last scene a tree is built up from the stage, and Kaelo declares that the land will be given back to the people.

Tree is an amazing experience that I would thoroughly recommend it.

Molly Docherty

Unreformed: Wallpaper and Design Diversity

Whitworth Gallery, University of Manchester

From 17 August

In the middle of the nineteenth century wallpaper design suddenly became diverse.

English manufacturers began to excel at the quick production of affordable wallpapers. This resulted in a dramatic explosion of choice.

Design Reform was a movement that wanted to control the quality of English design.

These mostly male designers, writers and MPs had a lasting effect on the way museums and art schools taught about good design.

Ultimately the exhibition is a celebration of their failure to control the diversity of design that was available.

Leeds West Indian Carnival:The Early Years

Leeds Central Library

Wed 14 August 6-7pm

Free entry. Admission by ticket.

Phone 0113 378 5005

Discover the organisers, costume makers, designers, musicians and stories behind the formative years of Europe’s oldest West Indian carnival.

From its birth in 1967 to its development throughout the 1970s, Danny Friar explores the early years of the Leeds West Indian Carnival in this fun and interactive presentation.

City Tour—Newcastle’s Campaign for the Vote

Grainger Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne

Sun 18 August 2:30pm

Tickets: £5, or £3 over 60s.

Meet at Grey’s Monument, finish at Central Station

The walk commemorates the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre in Manchester.

It explores the part played by residents from the Newcastle region demanding universal suffrage.


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