Leave Taking

by Winsome Pinnock
A Bush Theatre production
Book tickets
Until 30 Jun
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.

Times & Prices

Details

Dates

18 June - 30 JuneFrom £10

  • Senior Citizen: From £10
  • Adult: From £10
  • Unemployed (ID Required): From £10
  • Disabled: From £10
  • Bush Connect (Student/Under 26): From £10
  • Wheelchair User: From £10

Wednesday Matinees

20, 27 JuneFrom £10

  • Senior Citizen: From £10
  • Adult: From £10
  • Unemployed (ID Required): From £10
  • Disabled: From £10
  • Bush Connect (Student/Under 26): From £10
  • Wheelchair User: From £10

Saturday Matinees

23, 30 JuneFrom £10

  • Senior Citizen: From £10
  • Adult: From £10
  • Unemployed (ID Required): From £10
  • Disabled: From £10
  • Bush Connect (Student/Under 26): From £10
  • Wheelchair User: From £10
Running time approx 2 hours

Ticket info

We price tickets a little differently at Bush Theatre - here's how and why.

Post-Show Q&A: Wed 6 Jun

Ask cast and creatives about the creation and performance of Leave Taking after the show. Hosted by Tobi Kyeremateng. Free to ticket holders on the night.

Post-Show Panel: Thu 14 June

Who are our queens? The power and legacy of women of colour in theatre. Join Winsome Pinnock, Paulette Randall and Lynette Godard who pass the baton of experience to the next generation. Free to ticket holders on the night.

Access details

Audio described performance

Sat 9 Jun, 2.30pm

Captioned performance

Thurs 21 Jun, 7.30pm

Age Guidance

Age 14+

Interval

The production will include a 20 minute interval.

Show Times

Evening performances are 7.30pm and afternoon performances 2.30pm. The performance on 31 May is at 7pm.


About your visit

How to get here, opening times, offers and concessions, and how to hire one of our wonderful spaces.

Visit our book shop

Play texts for many of our productions can be purchased online. Pop on over to our online book shop.

“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).
Seraphina Beh Headshot
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.

#LeaveTaking @bushtheatre

30 close family and friends saw #LeaveTaking @bushtheatre on Saturday night; school friends including my best frien… https://t.co/Oz0lb8JV00
winsome pinnock
@Winsome_Pinnock
18 Jun
#LeaveTaking @bushtheatre & #TheSecretLives @arcolatheatre are the two most revealing plays about the truths we are… https://t.co/TcYqiqWt3q
Gbolahan Obisesan
@GreatObisesan
13 Jun
30 close family and friends saw #LeaveTaking @bushtheatre on Saturday night; school friends including my best frien… https://t.co/Oz0lb8JV00
winsome pinnock
@Winsome_Pinnock
18 Jun
Extremely moved by @Winsome_Pinnock's play of #Leavetaking @bushtheatre last night.Blistering performances by ever… https://t.co/c2CRTAMpSM
Tanika Gupta
@Tanika_Gupta
17 Jun
Extremely moved by @Winsome_Pinnock's play of #Leavetaking @bushtheatre last night.Blistering performances by ever… https://t.co/c2CRTAMpSM
Tanika Gupta
@Tanika_Gupta
17 Jun
Another evening of great theatre. Looking forward to #LeaveTaking at the @bushtheatre tonight; @Winsome_Pinnock’s d… https://t.co/s9yx8nYMO3
althea efunshile CBE
@altheaefunshile
18 Jun

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