Leave Taking

by Winsome Pinnock
A Bush Theatre production
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Passing the Baton
Winsome Pinnock is “the godmother of Black British playwrights” (The Guardian) who defined and inspired a generation with her work for the stage. She won the George Devine Award for Leave Taking in 1991 and was the first black British woman to have a play produced at the National Theatre. She has written numerous, award-winning plays that put black experiences centre-stage. In 2017, Winsome’s short play The Principles of Cartography opened the newly refurbished Bush Theatre as part of Black Lives, Black Words.

“What doctor know about our illness? Just give you pills to sick you stomach and a doctor certificate. What they know about a black woman soul?”

In Deptford, Del and Viv are soul-sick. Del doesn’t want to be at home – staying out late, 3pm-the-next-day late, is more her thing. Viv scours her school books trying to find a trace of herself between their lines.

When Enid takes her daughters to the local ‘obeah’ woman for some traditional Caribbean soul healing, secrets are spilled. There’s no turning back for Del, Viv and Enid as they negotiate the frictions between their countries and cultures.

Two generations. Three incredible women. Leave Taking is one epic story of what we leave behind in order to find home.

Madani Younis (The Royale) directs the contemporary revival of Winsome Pinnock’s classic, award-winning play.

“Devastatingly powerful”
Time Out ★★★★★
“A beautiful, humorous and often impossibly sad portrayal of the immigrant experience”
WhatsOnStage ★★★★★
“Powerful”
The Morning Star ★★★★★
“Theatre from the gut, as urgent and necessary as ever”
The Times ★★★★
“Hits home through its often shocking honesty”
The Guardian ★★★★
“Breathtaking performances”
The Independent ★★★★

Watch the Trailer


Leave Taking is generously supported by the Royal Victoria Hall Foundation.
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“Lines delivered with prescience, with panache, with a biting, smartarse humour but also with bitter poignancy light up 'Leave Taking' like fireworks.”
Time Out
“There couldn't have been a better time to revive Winsome Pinnock's remarkable play”
WhatsOnStage
“An undeniably important addition to our theatrical landscape.”
Broadway World UK
“Powerful and intelligent interrogation of English culture’s failure to listen to, and to see, the struggles of people of colour.”
The Morning Star

Photo & video

Casting
Sound Design and Original Music
Movement Director
Director
Associate Director
Lighting Designer
Fight Director
Designer
Writer

Cast

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Adjoa Andoh
Adjoa Andoh plays Mai. She is making her Bush Theatre debut in Leave Taking. Previous theatre includes: Julius Caesar (Bridge Theatre), Assata Taught Me (Gate Theatre), Soul (Royal & Derngate and Hackney Empire), Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Donmar Warehouse), Wolf in Snakeskin Shoes, Starstruck (Tricycle Theatre), Great Expectations (Bristol Old Vic), Julius Caesar, TamburlaineThe Odyssey (The RSC), Or You Could Kiss Me, His Dark Materials, Stuff Happens, The Revenger’s Tragedy (National Theatre), Blood Wedding (Almeida Theatre), Joe Turner’s Come and GoneIn The Red And Brown Water, The Snow Queen (Young Vic), Breath Boom, Sugar Mummies (Royal Court), Purgatorio (Arcola Theatre), Nights at the Circus (Kneehigh/ Lyric Hammersmith) Pericles (Lyric Hammersmith), The Dispute (The RSC/Lyric Hammersmith), Glory (Lyric Hammersmith/Derby Playhouse/ West Yorkshire Playhouse), In The Bunker With The Ladies (Drill Hall), The Vagina Monologues (Criterion & Tour),  Death Catches the Hunter (Traverse Theatre/ Wild Iris), Love at A Loss (Wild Iris/ BAC/UK tour), Cloud Nine (Contact),  Our Day Out (Birmingham Rep), Princhdice and Co, Lear’s Daughters (Women’s Theatre Group). Her film credits include: BrotherhoodRemainderJulius CaesarInvictusAdulthoodEvery Time I Look at You, A Rather English Marriage, I Is a Long Married WomanWhat My Mother Told MeThe Missing FingerOne in Four A Short Film About Melons. Television includes: Death in Paradise, Acceptable Risk, Liar, Cucumber, Chasing Shadows, Law and Order, Line of Duty, New Tricks, River, The Interceptor, Missing, Scott and Bailey, Wire in the Blood, MI High, Doctor Who, The Shadow in the North, Chopra Town, Silent Witness, Dalziel & Pascoe, Casualty, In Search of Myths and Heroes, Brian Pern: Death of Rock, Wizards vs AliensGrandpa in My Pocket, Mrs. Inbetweeny, Macbeth, Jonathan CreekClose Relations, An Independent Man, Health and Efficiency, Brittas Empire, Peak PracticeThieftakers, Tomorrow PeopleCircle of Deceit, Twelve Angry Men, Brass Eye, Birthrights, West Indian Women at War.
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Nicholle Cherrie
Nicholle Cherrie plays Viv. She is a recent graduate of Arts Ed. Her theatre credits include: Mamma Mia (Cyprus) in the role of Lisa and Jesus Christ Superstar (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre). Whilst in training her credits include: The Life, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Hayfever (Arts Ed), Olivier Awards 2016 (Royal Opera House), Olympia Horse Show 2015 (The Grand Hall, Olympia), My Lifelong Love (Garrick).
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Wil Johnson
Wil Johnson plays Brod. He makes his Bush Theatre debut in Leave Taking. His credits as a stage actor include: Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (Old Vic), King Lear (Royal Exchange), A Wolf In Snakeskin Shoes (Tricycle Theatre), Fuente Ovejuna (National Theatre), Redundant (Royal Court), A Mad World My Masters (Shakespeare’s Globe), Serious Money (Birmingham Rep), The Queen and I (Out Of Joint), Torn (Arcola Theatre) and the lead in Othello (Royal Lyceum). TV credits include: Carnival Row (Legendary), Outlander (Starz/Amazon), VeraLewis (ITV), Waking the Dead (BBC), The Five and Clocking Off (Red Productions), Moving On (LA Productions) and BAFTA best drama series, Cracker (Granada Television), Hidden Treasure (BAFTA Best Drama). Wil has also appeared in Waterloo Road (Shed Production), Hollyoaks (C4) and Emmerdale (ITV Yorkshire). Wil’s film credits include: Adulthood (Adulthood ltd), Anuvahood (Revolver), Midnight Breaks (Film 4), Dead End (Oceanstorm films) and Macbeth (Green Screen Productions).
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Seraphina Beh
Seraphina Beh plays Del. She recently appeared in the Bush Theatre and Royal Exchange Theatre’s production of Parliament Square. Her other theatre credits include: Pigeon EnglishRomeo & JulietDNA (National Youth Theatre), Cosmic Jives (Albany Theatre), Black Attack (Bush Theatre), My Beautiful City (Arcola Theatre), Jack And The Beanstalk (Lyric Hammersmith), OndistingRomeo & Juliet Et AlSkeen (Ovalhouse Theatre). Television credits include: Eastenders (BBC), Casualty (BBC), Game Face (Objective Productions), Live At The Electric (Avalon Television).
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Sarah Niles
Sarah Niles plays Enid. She last appeared at the Bush Theatre in The Interrogation of Sandra Bland as part of Black Lives, Black Words. Her theatre credits include: BThe Sewing GroupFather Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3), Truth & Reconciliation (Royal Court), Boy (Almeida Theatre), The Crucible (Old Vic), Anthony & Cleopatra (The RSC/Off Broadway), TableMrs Affleck (National Theatre), A Question of Freedom (Feelgood), The Long Road (Curve, Leicester), The Quiet Little Englishman (Zho Visual), Play Size (ATC/Young Vic), Bones (Bush Theatre), The Bogus WomanThe Lion the Witch & the WardrobeTo Kill a Mockingbird (Haymarket, Leicester), Entarete Musik (Amazonia Theatre Company), Lowdown High Notes (Red Ladder), Black Love (Black Arts Development Project), Caucasian Chalk Circle (Manchester Library). Television credits include: Moving On (BBC), Marley’s Ghosts (UKTV), Lucky Man (Sky), Don’t Take My Baby (BBC), Catastrophe (Channel 4), Spotless (Netflix), Death in Paradise (BBC), Waterloo Road (BBC), Being Human (BBC), Thorne: Sleepyhead (Sky), Beautiful People (BBC), Mister Eleven (ITV), Doctor Who (BBC), A Touch of Frost (ITV). Film credits include: StillAustenlandCuban FuryNow Is Good, London BoulevardGames Men PlayHappy-Go-Lucky.

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Oh hiiiiiiiiii, the marketing campaigns we designed for Leave Taking and Misty @bushtheatre came 1st & 2nd at the… https://t.co/FA4pSMZnT3
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23 Oct
This summer @Kalungi_ came in to @bushtheatre and passionately pitched us an exciting idea for a play about Bill Ri… https://t.co/cCSo3lQLni
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23 Oct
Special @bushtheatre Emerging Writers' Group masterclass from @Bush_Cat_Pirate this eve. https://t.co/tYUdBHozP7
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22 Oct
I’m so gassed to be directing the incredible @jazleejones play ‘Seven Methods...’ & #DismantleThisRoom will be maki… https://t.co/S6HrJFh1uy
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22 Oct
#MistyThePlay is the best thing i've seen in a long time and London pals I would highly recommend you go. A TONIC.… https://t.co/bXxJSdpWdI
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22 Oct
Last day of @VinayPatel's extraordinary #AnAdventure @bushtheatre. Can't be there unfortunately, but here's some o… https://t.co/mP3I9MOS1g
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20 Oct

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