Darkly comic tale of a woman’s journey to uncover her roots and understand who she is, Cheryl Ndione’s Apple will run at the VAULT Festival next month. Book your tickets now!
The continent-crossing tale, staged by The Upsetters and Purple Moon Drama, runs from 21-22 February 2020 at The Vaults.
Apple charts the story of Rosemary Clark as she goes on a quest of self-discovery from slut-drops in the Trocadero back to rural Jamaica. It’s a comic and introspective look at a less-than-rosy mother and daughter relationship.
Rosemary is desperate to have a moment of truth and connection, and decides her mother’s wedding day is the perfect occasion. She relives the moments that inform her choices. The story charts an emotional pilgrimage across international borders punctuated by lucid reflections that both inform and traumatise in equal measure in an ode to the plight of the diaspora.
Apple writer Ndione has previously had work staged at the Arcola Theatre, Park Theatre and The Space, and boasts performance credits including the lead role of Yassa in award-winning short film Fallou and playing Elsie in the touring production Muscovado. She is one of the Tamasha Playwrights 2019/20 and also founded youth theatre company Purple Moon Drama, which produces one show each year for young audiences. Previous Purple Moon productions include Noughts and Crosses, Side Effects, Graveyard Gang and Jollof Wars, which toured schools in 2019 and is also playing as part of the VAULT Festival.
Simone Watson, who directs Apple, is a director, trainer/facilitator and founder/director of social enterprise Dramatic Momentum, which uses theatre techniques to empower socio-economically disadvantaged young people to grow in confidence and help them find employment.
The creative team is completed by Sandra Falase (Costume & Set), Helena Almeida (Sound) and Inci Guleryuz (Lighting).
Co-producers The Upsetters make theatre written, directed and performed by artists of colour. They aim to address representation on and off the stage while being accessible to diverse audiences. The Upsetters produced their sold-out debut scratch night, which involved 32 artists of colour, at the Bunker Theatre last year. In November 2019, their second sold-out production Home Truths, which commissioned three writers of colour, was performed at the Free Word Centre. They return to The Bunker in February, as part of the theatre’s Takeover season, staging a festival including poetry, two new pieces of writing a scratch night and workshops with Tobi Kyeremateng, Chinonyerem Odimba, Steven Kavuma, Tuyet Van Huynh and Ava Wong Davies.
In an effort to make Apple as accessible to all as possible, the production is being performed in a wheelchair accessible venue, performances are “relaxed” for neurodivergent individuals or those with sensory impairments, captioning is provided in partnership with the Difference Engine, the Black Ticket Project is providing eight free tickets per performance and there is a baby-friendly matinee.
VAULT Festival, which runs from 28 January to 22 March 2020, is “London’s biggest, boldest and wildest arts and entertainment festival”. In 2019 it attracted more than 79,000 audience members to see 428 different shows staged by more than 2,000 artists.
In addition to Apple, VAULT Festival features a host of eclectic productions including little told true story of slavery Sold, dance exploration of living in a foreign country Living Here?, and Kafka-inspired tale of otherness Red Peter.