This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
IN BIM Adewunmi’s Hoard, two twenty-something sisters of Nigerian descent invite their third and youngest sister for a meal at their smart east London flat. Chiefly, they want to run their eye over her new American boyfriend.
He makes a favourable impression and the sisters approve. But the unexpected arrival of their combative, larger-than-life mother Wura throws a major spanner in the works of the get-together.
Until now, the anxious siblings have kept the boyfriend secret from Wura and her tornado-like appearance proves to be the catalyst for a long suppressed argument — not just about her overweening influence but her increasingly eccentric and decidedly non-smart living arrangements, about which the daughters are habitually embarrassed in front of potential suitors.
This is the first play from Adewunmi and a very good debut it is too. Amusing, light-hearted and thoroughly enjoyable, Hoard tackles some pretty serious issues without getting too deep or dark about them and it has a host of humorous one-liners delivered by a highly accomplished cast who really make you feel as if they’re family.
Kemi Durosinmi, Elizabeth Ita and Estella Daniels are convincingly close-knit as the exasperated Bakare sisters, ranged as a group against their mother but also subject to their own subtle internecine tensions, while Tyler Fayose plays the bewildered boyfriend Brian to good comic effect. He’s periodically banished to the safe haven of the kitchen as the family conflicts wax and wane.
The fast-moving script gives the cast plenty to work with over 70 minutes of fun and frolics but it really lays it on a plate for Ellen Thomas as Wura, whose comic timing is excellent. The focal point throughout, she is wonderfully outlandish as a proud woman who, aware of her own absurdities, has nevertheless no intention of changing even if her daughters want her to.
Yet she is also so loveable and, in her own fashion, so sensitive and vulnerable that it’s easy to see why her children have found it difficult over the years to properly confront her about the worries they nurture on her behalf.
Essentially, Hoard explores whether a mother can ever live her own life beyond the orbit of her children and vice versa. Its conclusions are surprisingly heartwarming and it provides an uplifting insight into how we should all perhaps let go of our controlling instincts in favour of a philosophy of live and let live.
Runs until June 8, box office: arcolatheatre.com
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.