Generation upon generation, there’s a feeling of ‘our way’ being the best way to navigate a situation. There’s no better example of this type of framework than within the fabric of a familial home. The continue back and forth between parents and their children is what makes for powerful conversations as well as unavoidable clashes. Winsome Pinnock’s Leave Taking channels this ever moving energy to reveal a family of strong women battling the day to day.
Pinnock clasps onto the tug of war conflicts between Enid, a proud Jamaican mother devoted to tradition and heritage and her children; Del (Seraphina Beh) the wild child who parties to the early hours of the morning whilst her studious sister, Viv (Nicholle Cherrie) engrosses herself within great works of literature. The dynamic alone between the three is a complex one, and this Pinnock picks up on effortlessly. Communication is paramount between the three, however there’s a feeling of each not truly listening to what one another has to say. Del’s fiery energy rings true to a younger generation, although her mother Enid proudly talks about the importance of heritage, Del questions her mother’s need to over work, to answer to things she shouldn’t find herself even being questioned for – Del questions Enid’s lack of defiance towards a society discriminative towards her. Viv’s need to find out more about her cultural heritage also rings true, her need to read literature in order to find the answers to her questions a very revealing act of how the researching of Caribbean and African history can be tough to pursue.
Leave Taking introduces the audience to the Obeah tradition, a tradition deriving from the Caribbean with a sole focus of spiritually healing. In order to ease her children’s woes she has them visit the local Obeah woman – Mai (Adjoa Andoh) who’s element of cool completely takes over the in the round space. In including this facet of Jamaican tradition within the play, the contemporary drama takes on a serene energy, and this is powerful as it offers to answer questions that can’t necessarily be answered by any of the three women. Madani Younis directs a thoughtful family drama depicting the lives of women of Caribbean descent at the fore, and this is to be applauded. Rosanna Vize’s in the round set design witnesses a rectangular pit at the centre of the space, comprising of rectangular blocks, become the living space in which the cast inhabit. Teamed up with Rajiv Pattani’s natural state lighting design, the evening is intimate; there’s a feeling of us all being a part of it – which we all are. We all go through these conversations and conflicts, we all think our way is best.
Review written by Lucy Basaba.
Leave Taking is currently showing until Saturday 30th June at the Bush Theatre. To find out more about the production, visit here…