Alvin and Errol can’t picture much of a future for themselves. They’re young, Black and living in England in the 1980s, with an entire country and political system set against them. Instead they focus firmly on their past – the sunny Caribbean and heroic father they left behind when their mother brought them to England twenty years ago.
But when Alvin returns home from his grandfather’s funeral a new version of their past emerges and the two brothers are caught in a desperate struggle to unearth the truth about their existence.
Powerful and compelling, Strange Fruit by Caryl Phillips (winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize) is the story of a family caught between two cultures, and the uncrossable no man’s land that can come between parents and their children.
Strange Fruit is the latest edition in the Passing the Baton series, following Winsome Pinnock’s Leave Taking in 2018.
A very necessary and excellent baton-passing revival
This is a play which makes considerable demands on the audience, but even more on the actors—and they rise to the challenge. The play itself is not brilliant. It's long and unweildy, but it is historically interesting and it has a fire in its belly
We expect plays today to be brisker and shorter, but Phillips’ portrait of a family divided against itself and alienated from the surrounding society still rings disquietingly true
Nancy Medina’s assured and affecting revival of Caryl Phillips’ 1979 play
Performed 40 years after it was written, it remains a story that reverberates, echoes and expands far outside the theatre walls
A family trapped in the no-man’s land between cultures
Nancy Medina’s direction is unfortunately static
The characters are warm, vivid and complex and brought to life with care and nuance by the cast
A truly majestic piece, I cannot recommend this more