Grandad Anansi, a new children’s show for Black History Month, premieres at Z-arts in Manchester (September 29-October 1) before a short tour.
Written for 4 to 9-year olds, the playful celebration of the love between generations and the joy of storytelling shines a light on Jamaican culture and the Windrush generation.
The show is the latest co-production from London-based Half Moon and Z-arts – the team behind Dust, the winner of a 2022 Off West End theatre award.
The 40-minute show is the first children’s theatre work by Elayne Ogbeta, a Greater Manchester writer of Jamaican heritage, and makes use of a mix of English and Jamaican patois.
Abi and her beloved grandad tell each other stories as they enjoy half-term together on his allotment. Grandad is played by stage and TV actor Marcus Hercules (Coronation Street, Brookside, Holby City, Casualty, Shameless) who shares his character’s Jamaican heritage. Jazmine Wilkinson plays his pre-teen grandchild. The play is directed by Chris Yarnell (The Outbound Project, Haste Theatre Company) and the musical director is Tayo Akinbode, who has created work for the National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the New York Public Theater, as well as many shows in and around Manchester and the North West during his long career.
Principal producer at Z-arts, Liz O’Neill, said: “Grandad Anansi will resonate with everyone who prizes family ties. It's a show full of fun, laughter, silliness, music and movement while still managing to touch on more serious issues – including the hopes of the Windrush generation and their families."
Other northern dates include The Met in Bury (October 11); Oldham Library (October 12); Eccleston Library in St Helens (October 13); Chester Lane Library in St Helens (October 14-15) and Astley Cheetham Gallery in Stalybridge (October 16).
More info here