Exploring race, privilege, allyship and masculinity, Human Nurture tells the story of two ‘could-be’ brothers whose lives are cleaved when one is rehomed, and the other is left behind in the care system.
The story of Human Nurture
Having grown up in care together, Roger and Harry’s bond is so strong they’re like brothers. They share everything, food, music, and even dreams. When Roger is rehomed, Harry is left behind in the care system, and these “brothers” grow up in opposite ends of Britain’s social spectrum. Yet, Roger and Harry’s bond is everything. Everything other than their race. Roger is black, and Harry is white.
After separation Roger begins to connect with his cultural roots, while Harry falls into a crowd that are openly racist. Crucially exploring the intersectionality between race and class, Human Nurture unpicks how exclusion and socioeconomic context can affect worldviews and relationships.
On Harry’s birthday, Runako (Roger’s reclaimed Zimbabwean birth name) returns for a dream reunion that turns into a nightmare situation.
Nothing’s off-limits, from innocent primary school humiliations to race, privilege, allyship and male vulnerability. Human Nurture is a new play from Ryan Calais Cameron that is full of colour and noise, and a lot of dynamite.
From the writer
Ryan Calais-Cameron commented:
“With Human Nurture I really want us to collectively explore the reality of questions/statements that felt like a huge contradiction throughout my life and the lives of so many Black people that have been brought up in the UK, especially now whilst there is so much attention on Black lives mattering.”
Theatre Centre is a national touring company that makes bold and relevant shows with and for young people. They work to unpack and explore what matters to young people in their lives and communities, centring their experiences and voices.
Commissioning new work from the most exciting writers and artists, which is developed and tested throughout the process with young people, Theatre Centre brings world-class theatre straight into the heart of schools.
Working with schools and communities
Human Nurture is an important co-production with Sheffield Theatres that kicks off a major national tour and works to bring theatres and schools together to build deep relationships. It will be performed at schools in the first half of each week of the tour to ensure the production is accessible to those in an educational setting, with a new commitment to reduce their performance fee by more than 50% for state schools.
Rob Watt comments, Artistic Director for Theatre Centre said:
“Since the start of the pandemic we have had so many conversations with Drama teachers across the country, listening as they told us how we and the sector can be useful to them and really help. We’ve embedded so much of what we heard in our planning for the next few years, but a major step was to commit to reducing our fees for state schools to £300 per show for the next 3 years; this is more than 50% reduction. We hope that this will help as many schools as possible give the experience of seeing Ryan’s show to their students.”
To ensure that Human Nurture is as authentic as possible, Theatre Centre worked with Ryan and many young people from across the country to explore the themes of race and class found in the play.
Ryan Calais-Cameron said:
“I am so excited at the prospect of Human Nurture touring into schools. I believe this play is a vital icebreaker into deeper needed discussions on race and belonging. I believe it should be seen as widely as possible, particularly now given the far overdue global fight for freedom, justice, and liberation from overt, covert, and systemic racism.”
Justice Ritchie (Dungeons and Dragons, Paramount) and Lucas Button (War Horse, National Theatre; The Witcher: Blood Origins, Netflix) will play the two leading roles, with Neeta Sarl (Love Reign, Young Vic) as the on-stage musician. The production is directed by Theatre Centre’s critically acclaimed Artistic Director, Rob Watt (Acts of Resistance, Headlong Theatre, Bristol Old Vic).
Human Nurture runs from 17 – 19 February at Live Theatre, Newcastle.
Running Time 60 mins
Age Guidance 14+
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