Review: Video Chat with Michelle Asante star of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s play “Notes on Grief: watch on demand 15 -18 July

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie states, Grief is a cruel education: “You learn how much it is about language, the failure of language and the grasping for language.”

Itoya Osagiede in Notes On Grief by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie @ Exchange Auditorium, Manchester Central. A Manchester International Festival ©Tristram Kenton

Talking to the lead actress Michelle Asante of Notes on Grief by @chimamanda_adichie from her Book Notes on Grief @mifestival

This reflective essay from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was written when her father died suddenly in June 2020. It was first published in the New Yorker in September. It has been brought from the page to the stage by director Rae McKen as part of the Manchester International Festival.

In the play Asante (woman 1) plays a strong centre role in how she tenderly remembers the father Adichie called her “Original Dada”, through the well written essay the words are brought to life. and supported by Uche Abuah, and Itoya Osagiede the play speaks to the masses that have lost someone during lockdown: although he did not die from Covid. When James Nwoye Adichie died Adichie and her siblings could not travel to Nigeria as they were and live in the USA.

Uche Abuah and Itoya Osagiede in Notes On Grief by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie @ Exchange Auditorium, ©Tristram Kenton

Executed superbly by Asante the play takes us through the complexes of dealing with the grief and the layers of loss and the beautiful memories Adichie had with her father. A set which is a front room sees Asante (woman 1) act out scenes that add endearment to the fondiness and bond Adichie had with “Dada”. Osiagiede plays the father and does so eloquently and fluidly from young man to old. Starring Michelle Asante, Uche Abuah, and Itoya Osagiede, Notes on Grief is a space for those who have experienced loss to gather and reflect, and a powerful and timely MIF21 world premiere.

Don’t worry if you missed the live shows at @mcr_central, as you can watch online on demand from today 15 – 18 July. ⠀
Directed by Rae McKen. Brilliant all round. BOOK HERE: Read our Director interview here.

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