Perseverance Drive

by Robin Soans
A Bush Theatre production

Tis’ Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home

Amazing Grace

In the heat of the Caribbean sun and to the familiar sound of gospel hymns, the Gillard family prepares for the funeral of their mother Grace. Tensions ignite as Josh, cast out for being gay, arrives in Barbados after 6 years of excommunication. Widowed Eli wants to sell the family home on Perseverance Drive, but Grace’s will reveals a different plan.

London, 4 years later. The table is set with Tiger Malt, lashings of Madeira cake and chocolate digestives (milk, not dark). Secrets are exposed at this last family gathering but Eli knows time is running out: Can the Gillard family reconcile their faith in God with their faith in one another?

I know we have a certain amount of dirty laundry in this family, but is it really necessary to keep on washing it so publicly?

Exploring the joys and frustrations of loving our loved ones, Perseverance Drive tells an epic family story that stretches from the sunny shores of Barbados to the grey skies of Leytonstone. Don’t miss this witty and uplifting new play by acclaimed writer and actor Robin Soans (Talking to Terrorists, Out of Joint / Royal Court, Life After Scandal, Hampstead Theatre), directed by Madani Younis, Artistic Director of the Bush Theatre.

A Bush Theatre Production

This is a past event
Genuine joy to the gospel singing and the hallelujah fervour.
The Guardian
Profound and affecting.
The Telegraph
This is a sharply written piece that is both sympathetic to and contemptuous of its subject – it's the perfect balance.
Sound Designer


Franc Ashman
Franc Ashman returns to the Bush Theatre to play Nina in The Royale following her barn-storming performance in the same role in our 2015 production. She has also previously appeared at the Bush in Perseverance Drive. Franc boasts an impressive list of theatre credits having performed extensively for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Out of Joint under the direction of Max Stafford-Clark and the National Theatre. Recent screen credits include Wagstaffe, Tennison, DCI Banks and Apple Tree Yard. She played Molly in the latest series of Peep Show for Channel 4.
Clint Dyer
Theatre credits include:  The New Order (writer/ performer, The Big Idea, Royal Court), Perseverance Drive (Bush Theatre), Sus (The Young Vic & Tour, Stratford East), Big White Fog (Almeida Theatre), A Carpet, A Pony & A Monkey (Bush Theatre), Sunday Lunch (Royal Court Readings), International Writers Festival (Royal Court Theatre) Black Dove (Old Red Lion), Babycakes (Traverse Theatre/ Drill Hall), Extracts – Romeo & Juliet (Globe Theatre), It’s A Big Shame (Theatre Royal & Stratford East), Taking Liberties (Hackney Empire), Safe In Our Hands (Belgrade Theatre & Coventry), Heaven & Earth: 1 & 11 (Battersea Arts Centre), Hanging the President (Traverse Theatre & Battersea Arts Centre), Unda’mi Nose (Umoja), Only a Complaint (Old Red Lion), No More Sitting on the Old School Bench (Queen’s Hornchurch), Citizen Kane (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Minors on Minors (Theatre Royal Stratford East). Television includes: Hope Springs, Fallout, Trial & Retribution XII, Dalziel and Pascoe, The Bill, Holby City, Inspector Lynley, The Commander, ‘Orrible, Lock Stock, Home and Away, Skank, Douglas, Staying Alive, The Bill, Thief Takers, Independent Man, Prime Suspect, Pie in the Sky, Eastenders, The Bill, The Upper Hand, Flip. Film includes: Mine (forthcoming, starring opposite Armie Hammer), Montana, Arthur Christmas, Unknown, Sus (Winner - Screen Nation Award for Best Actor; Winner – Liege Film Festical Award for Best Actor; Winner – Texas Black Film Festival – Best Actor), Ahora, Mr Bean’s Vacation, Love Me Still, Portrait of London, La Piste (The Trial), Sahara, Out on a Limb, Cherps, Mr Inbetween, Ice Cool Reception, Soul Patrol, The Low Down, London Feels, Tube Tales: The Servant, 24 Hours in London, Everybody Loves Sunshina (AKA Busted), It’s Different For Girls, Shopping.
Lloyd Everitt

Theatre credits include: Much Ado About Nothing (Old Vic), Chariots of Fire (West End & Hampstead Theatre), Luise Miller (Donmar Warehouse), King Lear (West Yorkshire Playhouse), The Dug Out (Bristol Old Vic).

Television includes: Holby City, Emmerdale, Tissued and Issues, Alys.

Film includes: Table Mannerz.

Leo Wringer

Theatre credits include: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Noel Coward Theatre), 66 Books (Bush Theatre), Blackta (Young Vic), The Wheel (National Theatre of Scotland), While You Lie (Traverse Theatre), Medea (Abbey Theatre & Queens), Othello (Nottingham Playhouse), King Lear, Romeo & Juliet, Comedy of Errors (RSC), Julius Caesar, Taming of the Shrew, Othello, Titus Andronicus (Shakespeare At The Tobacco Factory Bristol), Hamlet (Young Vic, Tokyo Globe & Osaka), The Winter’s Tale (Complicité, International & UK tour), Julius Caesar (Barbican & European Tour), Othello (Watermill, Tokyo Globe & Osaka), Beauty & The Beast (The Lyric Theatre), Sanctuary, Antony and Cleopatra (RNT), Othello, Charlie Lavender (Southwark Playhouse), My Children! My Africa! (Salisbury Playhouse), The Struggle of the Dogs and the Black (Traverse Theatre), Madman of' the Balconies (Gate Theatre), Twelfth Night, More Grimm Tales, As I Lay Dying, Rosmersholm (Young Vic), Woyzeck (Bristol Old Vic), Search and Destroy (Royal Court). Two Horsemen (Bush Theatre, Time Out Award).

Film includes: The Changeling, The Kitchen Toto, Nighthawks.

Television includes: Gangsta Granny, Law and Order, Silent Witness, Rebus, Judge John Deed, Casualty, Canterbury Tales, South by South East, Love Hurts, Mad Men and Specialists, Escape from Kampala, Rough Crossings.

Akiya Henry

Theatre credits include: Ten Women (Jackdaw at the Oval House Theatre), Cake and Congo (Theatre 503), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Bristol Old Vic), Mottled Lines (Orange Tree Theatre), Swallows and Amazons (Vaudeville Theatre & UK Tour, Bristol Old Vic), The Colored Museum (Talawa Theatre Company), The Beggar’s Opera (Open Air Theatre Regent’s Park), Much Ado About Nothing/ Shakespeare in a Suitcase (RSC New York), Hello Dolly (Open Air Theatre Regent’s Park), The Tempest (Open Air Theatre Regent’s Park), Vajak Paw (The Opera Group), Carmen Jones (The Southbank Centre, Ramond Gubbay Ltd), Safe (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Coriolanus (Shakespeare’s Globe), The Enchanted Pig (Young Vic Theatre/Opera Group), Under the Black Flag (Shakespeare’s Globe), Coram Boy (Royal National Theatre), Once in a Lifetime (Royal National Theatre), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Sheffield Crucible Theatre), Just So (Chichester Festival Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Chichester Festival Theatre), Skellig (Young Vic Theatre), Anything Goes (Royal National Theatre), Bintou (Arcola Theatre), Love’s Labour’s Lost (Royal National Theatre), The Singing Group (Chelsea Theatre), Closer to Heaven (Really Useful Group), Into the Woods (NYMT).


Television includes: Silent Witness, Captain Mack, Casualty, Little Britain, Doctors.

Film includes: Rabbit Fever, The Best Man, Calcium Kid, De Lovely.

Radio includes: One Two Zoo, Reality Check, The Ballad of Frankie Banks

Derek Ezenagu

Theatre credits include Death and the King’s Horseman (Royal National Theatre), The Lion and the Jewel (Collective Artiste), Much Ado About Nothing and Hamlet (RSC), Bouncers (Salisbury Playhouse), Beautification of Area Boy (West Yorkshire Playhouse/ World Tour),Women on the Verge of HRT...Getaway! (No.1 Tour), Musical Youth (Birmingham Rep), Edmund (Main in the Moon) and Punch Junkies (Brixton Shaw).

Television includes Merlin, Messiah, Second Generation, The Bill, EastEnders, Casualty, Waking the Dead, Doctors, The IT Crowd, The Worst Week of My Life.

Film includes The dying of the Light, Fifth Element, Three Steps to Heaven, Streetwise.

Radio includes Darker Face of the Earth, Creamie, When Kings Talk.

Ray Shell

Theatre credits include: Starlight Express (West End), Ain't Misbehavin (West End), Jesus Christ Superstar (West End), The Music of Andrew Lloyd-Webber (West End), Little Willie Jr's Resurrection (West End), Ms Saigon (West End), King (West End), Children of Eden (West End), 125th Street (West End), Dancing in the Street(West End), Gone With the Wind (West End), Five Guys Named Mo (West End),Lion King (West End), Mass Carib (West End), Blues for Mr Charlie (Tricycle Theatre), Sweeney Todd (Holland Park), Happy End (Nottingham Playhouse), Two Trains Running (Tricycle Theatre), Blues for Mr Charlie (The Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, and the Tricycle Theatre London), Blues in the Night (West Yorkshire Playhouse).

Film includes: Young Soul Rebels and Velvet Goldmine.

Kolade Agboke
Theatre credits include: Dance Class (Collide Theatre co), Bloodknot (Shiva Theatre Company), The Selfish Giant (Dome/ Brighton Philamonic), The Ramayana(The Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith), The Romans in Britain (Sheffield Crucible Theatre), Tamburlaine the Great (Bristol Old Vic), To Hell With Love (Jet Theatre Company), All’s Well That Ends Well, Sing Yer Heart Out For The Lads (Royal National Theatre), Lags (Tobacco Factory), Love’s Labour’s Lost (English Touring Theatre), Peter Gynt/ Romeo & Juliet (Royal National Theatre), The Ju Ju Girl(The Traverse Theatre Company), Food For Thought (Soho Theatre Company), The Enchanted Land (Traverse Theatre), The Merchant of Venice (Sheffield Crucible Theatre), The Alchemist (Riding Lights/ Coventry Belgrade Theatre), Inheritance(Riding Lights). Television includes: Doctors, Eastenders, Poppy Shakespeare, Emmerdale, Soko Leipzig, Spooks, Stealing Lives, Holby City, Judge John Deed, The Bill, Maisie Raine. Film includes: Dance Class, Pretty Dolly Robson, Storm Breaker, Millions, Malthide, It Was an Accident, Skin Deep, The LongestMemory, Sam Il.  


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