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#FreshOffTheStalls: The Etienne Sisters (Theatre Royal Stratford East, London)

etienne sisters

Chè Walker and Anoushka Lucas’ The Etienne Sisters is a complex and free look at what family means that isn’t just “diverse theatre”, but great theatre.


Two sisters mourn the death of their mother, when a familiar stranger arrives on the scene: their troublesome estranged half-sister, Bo. In moving in to try and comfort the pair, Bo causes more rifts than wounds healed. Can the family stay together or will they tear themselves apart?

Chè Walker and Anoushka Lucas, the writing team behind the critically acclaimed Klook’s Last Stand now take on Joan Littlewood’s old stomping ground with this all female cast with some stunning credentials. With book by Walker and music by Lucas, with additional music by Sheila Atim, The Etienne Sisters is a contemporary and jazz-sodden look at vibrant life and family values in London.

Artistic Director of the Theatre Royal Stratford East, Kerry Michael, says;

“We’re thrilled to have been involved in this show since its early inception, with the workshop taking place here…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.”

Walker, also directing The Etienne Sisters, is a strong supporter of the diversity that Theatre Royal Stratford East has always championed, and is proud that The Etienne Sisters will become a part of their celebrated programme.

“[I’m] 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.”

Music of Black Origin (MOBO) award-winner Allyson Ava-Brown stars as tearaway Bo, joined by Jennifer Saayeng who’s stared in Ghost: The Musical and Hairspary, and Eastenders star Nina Toussaint-White. They are accompanied by award-winning jazz pianist Nikki Yeoh who has famously worked with celebrated artists such as Courtney Pine and The roots.

The Etienne Sisters plays at Theatre Royal Stratford East, London, E15 1BN, until 3rd October 2015. Tickets are £7.00 – £22.50 (concessions available). To book, visit www.stratfordeast.com.