Theatre Centre has announced a UK tour of Ryan Calais-Cameron’s play Human Nurture.
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.
In order to ensure that Human Nurture is as authentic as possible, Theatre Centre has worked with Ryan and many young people from across the country to explore the themes of race and class found in the play.
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 – everything except their race. Roger is black and Harry is white; it’s never mattered to them but when Roger is fostered and Harry remains in care the boys grow apart and, in different cities and at opposite ends of the UK’s social spectrum, these differences come to the fore.
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.
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 Tour Dates
26 – 28 January – Previews/Press – Studio Theatre, Sheffield
3, 5, 10 – 12 February – Studio Theatre, Sheffield
17 – 19 February – Live Theatre, Newcastle
25 – 26 February – Mercury Theatre, Colchester
3 – 4 March – The Lowry, Manchester
11 – 12 March – Theatr Clwyd, Mold
17 – 19 March – Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
22 – 26 March – SOHO Theatre, London
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.
“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.”
As part of the tour, which is a co-production with Sheffield Theatres, the show 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.
Theatre Centre’s Artistic Director Rob Watt 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.”