Frustrated by the lack of interesting roles for mature women, Northeast actors Jaqueline Philips and Judi Earl have collaborated with writers Gary Kitching and Steve Byron to bring Tree to Alphabetti Theatre this January. The world premiere will explore what it really means to be honest and to lie, to be lonely and alone, and to live and be alive.
This funny, heart-breaking production follows the chance meeting of Hazel and Rowan. Rowan is a liar and a fantasist; she lives vicariously through the internet and flirts with dangerous conspiracies. But when she meets Hazel who, conversely, is grounded, worldly and honest, she is forced to confront the fragility of life and what it means to be human – can Rowan revaluate how she lives her own life?
Determined to write roles for older women that avoided the classic tropes of mothers, grandmothers and wives, Tree explores humanity in the post-truth era outside the gendered lens. Directed by Rachel Glover, this series of cosy and uncomfortable conversations is underscored by classic songs that deal with counterbalance like Joni Mitchel’s Both Sides Now and Ethel Merman’s Everything is Coming Up Roses.
Gary Kitching commented: “Tree started as a simple request from two fantastic actors from the Northeast during the 2020 lockdowns. Sick of being asked to play mothers and grandmothers, they asked Steve and I, having seen our previous collaboration Bacon Knees and Sausage Fingers, if we would write for them. We quickly decided that we would. We hope that the piece brings to life the complexity and nuances of our performers and well as of honesty, morality, and ‘being’ in general.”
The Worriers is a growing collective of artists brought together by Gary Kitching, Steve Byron & Ali Pritchard. Previous award-winning shows include Bacon Knees and Sausage Fingers, Wilfred, Walter, Floorboards, Sucking Eggs and Rocket Girl.
Tickets are available from https://www.alphabettitheatre.co.uk/tree