World premiere of new Chè Walker production The Etienne Sisters to play at Stratford East
August 12, 2015  //  By:   //  News  //  Comments are off

L-R Nina Toussaint-White, Jennifer Saayeng, Nikki Yeoh and Allyson Ava-Brown (Press)After the huge success of the critically acclaimed Klook’s Last Stand (The Park Theatre), writing duo Chè Walker and Anoushka Lucas, bring the world premiere of their new play with music The Etienne Sisters to Theatre Royal Stratford East. This all-female cast features strong London talent, harmonising to a fresh and contemporary soulful jazz score.  

MOBO award winner Allyson Ava-Brown stars as Bo, Jennifer Saayeng(Ghost the Musical, Hairspray) as Ree and Nina Toussaint-White(EastEnders, Switch) as Tree. The trio are joined by award-winning jazz pianist Nikki Yeoh, renowned for her work with Courtney Pine and The Roots.

This new play with music is written and directed by Chè Walker with songs by Anoushka Lucas. Additional songs are by Sheila Atim, who starred in Walker and Lucas’ critically acclaimed production of Klook’s Last Stand at The Park Theatre last year, as well as the workshop of this piece at Theatre Royal Stratford East last autumn. Set to a contemporary soulful jazz soundtrack, The Etienne Sisters explores what it means to be part of a family today.

Families have their cracks, secrets and baggage, with the Etienne’s being no exception. Should families stick together through thick and thin? Should they always be there for each other in time of need? What happens when the family rock is taken away from you? In this sincere and poetic story find out how Tree, Ree and their estranged half-sister Bo handle the challenges that life throws at them. Will they create a much-needed family bond? Or will the sisters destroy all that is left of their family and each other?

The Etienne Sistersreflects Theatre Royal Stratford East’scontinued commitment to break new ground with musicals that bring contemporary and urban music into the mainstream of British Theatre. Chè’s poetic prose and Anoushka’s soulful music make the perfect combination for new British musical theatre writing.

Kerry Michael, Artistic Director at Theatre Royal Stratford East said, “We’re thrilled to have been involved in this show since its early inception, with the workshop taking place here at Theatre Royal Stratford East last year (2014). Since then the show has been developed further, creating a compelling new production, one which reflects the spirit of contemporary London. It’s bold, exciting and moving. We’re particularly excited to have such a strong creative team working to bring this stirring show to life.”

Chè Walker, writer and directed explains that he’s, “absolutely thrilled, proud and delighted to write and direct The Etienne Sisters at the innovative Theatre Royal Stratford East, who continue to do so much to resist the encroaching cultural apartheid blighting London. We have great tunes and a stunning cast.”