Tree - MCA - Creative Critics - MIF19 pt.2

The Creative Critics from Manchester Communication Academy review 'Tree' by Idris Elba & Kwame Kwei-Armah. Second Set.

Tree - MCA - Creative Critics - MIF19 pt.2

If you are lucky enough to get a ticket, you should definitely attend the performance ‘Tree’. It brings really good vibes and is really engaging. As I entered, I didn’t really know what was it was going to be about. It started off as a party, which was really fun, with multi-coloured lights and loud music. I really enjoyed this part because it was very lively and funny. Personally, I think this was a creative and great way to introduce the performance.

As soon as Tree started, I was instantly transfixed with the story. Throughout, the actors got the audience involved making it very interactive. I was also able to be involved, which was an entertaining experience. The choreography really helped tell the story in a more active way. I thought that the fight scenes in particular, with the dancers, really mesmerised me. The way they used physical theatre during fight scenes, it was AMAZING, never did I think a horrific scene could look so beautiful. There were also some humorous parts whereas there were also some shocking and upsetting parts. The intense juxtapositions sent everyone who was there on an emotional rollercoaster.

Generally, I think the main purpose for Tree and what shone through the performance was the meaning. I think everyone took something different from Tree, but I feel like it was all about fighting against racism and how everything (especially family) stays strong despite anything bad that happens. 

Overall, I think that Tree is an amazing performance and I would absolutely recommend it to everyone else.

By Destiny

Tree was a really engaging experience and has many moments of humour during it. At the start, it had given us an opportunity to dance around and have a good time with your friends. Finally, when it had started, it already had attracted my attention as the music danced around the atmosphere. It was very easy to concentrate on the act as well. Personally,  I felt there was so much involvement for the audience and made you feel important as it had given you a chance to be one of the main characters.

It has also contributed people’s history in Western Africa and is based on true events throughout history. Additionally, it is 14+ as it contains very crucial language that children may find hilarious. Although, it may have an age restriction it will teach children an exhilarating experience and a really thrilling exploration to witness. Also, it is implacably interactive to the audience as they pick certain people to join the stage and be able to show that they’re brave. In my opinion, the main reason why it was produced to be seen as it implies fight for your rights gracefully or it shows that we are all human, we’re all on the same planet, no matter how different we have from our gender, colour and much more, it teaches us that we have to accept each other to be able to get along and create peace. During this performance, it has given opportunity to be able to participate by helping to create the tree or just a small thing by holding up a certain object to create this physical performance.

In my opinion, my favourite piece of this performance was when the tree was being created and the part where we were all be able given an opportunity to be able to dance around on the stage to make us all lose and to attract our attention to be calm and have an amazing time during this experience that might be the last or first time to see this. Mostly, seeing the fight scene was really engaging and just seeing that small add of detail of this certain type of scene in slow motion was extremely entertaining. Overall, I do not recommend it to sensitive people as there is violence in it but I do recommend it to people who adore action and tragedies.

By Emma

I was very intrigued to find out the beauty and intensity of this show.

As soon as I entered the building, I was already feeling the magic this place had to offer:  the different lights; the members of the show dancing and having fun and the audience singing their heart out.

This performance made me so emotional because of the many different messages being given. The message of racism, love for your ancestors and peace.

Even though it is suggested to be viewed by ages 14+, which I think isn’t fair because everyone should have access to watch this show since it could change many mind sets in a positive way, I really do recommend it to anyone who wants to be part of such spiritual community.

Something that distracted me from the show, however, was having to stand up throughout the performance or sit on the stairs. This distracted me because I had to keep moving since my legs kept hurting. Aside from that, this was the best performance I have ever been involved with, and I hope you go there and enjoy it as much as I did.

I also want to mention how the use of inclusion was so powerful. From beginning to end they made the audience a part of this performance. If you are a shy person, I’m not sure if this will be for you but then again they will not force you into coming up on stage and participating in this production.

Overall, no matter who you are or what you do, I know that this performance will warm your heart instantly.

By Favour

Tree is an amazing play. You have to watch it if you get the chance. With mesmerizing dancing and extraordinary acting, this is a very well made play. This play taught me a very important lesson - to remember your ancestors. And if you don’t know about your ancestors, find out. 

I, myself, after watching this play realised that I didn’t know much about ancestors and this play inspired me to learn about my history. To learn about the roots of my tree. And I think everyone should try to find out, because no matter what, no matter if there are dirty and disgusting parts in your tree, it’s still your tree. I’m not saying to get hung up on the past, but learn about the past and learn from the past so you don’t make the same mistakes your ancestors did.

How they conveyed the message was absolute genius. The dancing showed dynamic, dramatic and tragic scenes while bringing South African culture together. The boldness of the director to include strong language is inspiring and it is mind-blowing and mind-opening how they look at people like Nelson Mandela in different perspectives. It is truly one for the ages. I have to give a big thank you to Idris Elba and the cast for bringing this to life. Thank you. Quickly, hurry up and head to Upper Campfield Market before you miss this once in a life time experience. Hurry, before it’s too late.

By Thandaza

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Header Image Credit: MIF


Emrys Green

Emrys Green Voice Team

Emrys is the Business & Projects manager at Upstart who runs Voice.

Alongside managing Voice and its related programmes of work Emrys manages web builds and live events through his own pursuits - with a wide encapsulation of the arts sector. Theatre, Dance, Circus, Spoken Word and a combination of contemporary and shakespearean work would all be in his wheelhouse.

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