TERRAtory (3 stars)

This article is from 2019


A deeper look at racism and our roots

In the face of growing nationalism and racism, this production from Nicholsons Upstage demonstrates very eloquently why no race is superior to another, and why we might all share more common ancestors than we know. Using scenes from today and the 15th century, the plot of TERRAtory is determinedly internationalist and inclusive.

The play opens with the protagonist Emma receiving the results of her genealogical DNA test. To her delight she discovers that she isn't 100% English, but has links on the other side of the world. This, alongside a discovery of colonial documents in her gran's attic, leads her to research her ancestry and to question the attitude of her friend towards immigrants. Jumping between times and places, TERRAtory proposes a makeshift study of global inter-relationships.

While the characters and some of the dialogue are over-simplified, the plot moves at a good pace. Some of the scenes from the past are little stilted compared to the wry banter of Emma and her best friend, but the commitment of all eight actors to telling such an important story is admirable. A special mention must go to the colonialist Captain Gonzalo; he's so convincingly morally repulsive that it's often difficult to watch.

Greenside @ Nicolson Square, until 17 Aug (not 11), 3pm, £10 (£8).


  • 3 stars

Nicholsons Upstage TERRAtory follows Emma on her rollercoaster ride navigating her own DNA helix. On her journey of self-discovery, she shines a light on the delicate and contentious issue of territories, borders and our post-colonial existence. We invite audiences to think about our own ignorance or maybe just our…