Familyman, set in East London, tells the story of Caesar Ramsey, who, having been raised by successive generations of single women is struggling to be a father when faced with an all-too-familiar and very unwelcome situation by his teenage son, Nelson. Can Caesar support Nelson’s choices even though he thinks he is making gargantuan mistakes?
For Familyman Director Dawn Reid (The Harder They Come and also Associate Director of Theatre Royal Stratford East), this fresh and insightful look at family life by Beadle-Blair is very relevant to all:
‘Familyman is a universal story that I think touches many issues that families have to deal with. From what good parenting is, to attitudes towards teenage pregnancy and the whole issue of disciplining children. I hope that the show will give the audience the opportunity to reflect and discuss, and see just how essential it is to be able to talk and to listen to each other. Rikki is a fantastic writer who doesn’t hold back and isn’t afraid to deal with any subject. His style always manages to entertain while getting the key messages across’.
Indeed writer Rikki Beadle-Blair, has drawn on his own experiences with youth to bring the story to life:
‘I have young people in my life that I've kind of adopted, and I struggle to balance being responsible for their guidance with my duty to encourage them to outgrow me and move on. I have issues with letting go of those I love. That's all in Familyman. I am Caesar! And Nelson and Deanna and Evita and Precious.... I am all the characters in the play! They are splinters of me, in passionate debate with one another - thrashing out the meaning of everything, trying to make sense of it all’.
Delivered with razor-sharp wit, Familyman asks some vital questions for 21st century parents while providing the lively and involving entertainment that Theatre Royal Stratford East is known for. This says Beadle-Blair is the goal:
‘The Stratford East audience is part of the play, and I bear that in mind when I write for this theatre. That kind of honesty of response - it's thrilling! So while I hope that the audience will review their own attitudes to family and friendship, I also hope they'll be entertained! . In the end it's an evening out. I hope it will be one to remember!’
Familyman boasts a hugely talented cast that includes: (Rikki’s brother) Gary Beadle (EastEnders), Llewella Gideon (Absolutely Fabulous, The Crouches – BBC), Jo Martin (Stupid, The Crouches – BBC), Jo Castleton, Ayesha Antoine, Ricci McLeod and Aaron Taylor.
Dates: 2nd May 2008 – 31st May 2008 (Press Night: 8th May 2008)
Times: Tues – Sat -Evenings - 7:30pm
Tues 13th May (only) – 6:30pm
Matinees – Wednesday 14th May and Sat 31st May: 2pm,
Tickets: Tues – Sat &Matinees - £12, £19, Children and Conc. - £8, £12
‘Be 1st to see’ nights, 2nd – 9th May, all seats £10.
Venue: Theatre Royal Stratford East, Gerry Raffles Square, London, E15 1BN
Nearest station: Stratford (Central line, Jubilee line, Overground, DLR & mainline)
Booking Line: Box Office: 020 8534 0310. Opening Hours: 10am–6pm, Monday-Friday