Tour plans for Edinburgh hit, The Death & Life of All of Us

Tour plans for Edinburgh hit, The Death & Life of All of Us

Charming, funny & moving multimedia story of intergenerational shame, family secrets & history coming to Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle and Crucible Theatre, Sheffield.

Victor Esses’ The Death & Life of All of Us sold out its premiere run at Soho Theatre and was a hit with audiences and critics at the 2023 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Having toured the UK since, it is now set for performances in Newcastle and Sheffield with June.

At 19, whilst studying film, Victor found his long-lost great aunt Marcelle in Rome. She had moved from Lebanon to Italy and converted from Judaism to Christianity, changed her name and kept a secret for a lifetime. Inspired by her strength and her rebellion he started to make a documentary about her life. Twenty years later, he still hasn’t finished it…

Having grappled with her story for so long, with the benefit of hindsight and his own maturity, he now feels ready to do that story justice. The Death & Life of All of Us uses the interviews he recorded with Marcelle alongside art projections, text, live music and movement. It is a multimedia piece looking into intergenerational shame, family secrets, history and what’s left when we’re gone. In this moving performance Victor loves Marcelle but doesn’t always like her…

The show also takes in Victor’s acceptance of his queerness, getting past the toxic shame that is handed down to us through the generations. It incorporates stories of those who are represented in his own identity (queer, migrant, Jew, Middle Eastern, Latin American and other) yet often hidden in society. People seen as different, making their unique personal stories completely universal and relatable to our own lives. Esses aims to rewrite history in his own terms and encourage the audience to access their own pasts to do the same.

‘Visually rich… a celebration of experimentation on and off stage’ The Scotsman

Victor invites the audience into his poetic, intimate, subtle and warm space that is absorbing and comfortable yet contains moments of gut-punching revelation. He said ‘I want the show to invite audiences to understand how, in a world with so much migration, rising antisemitism, xenophobia and queerphobia, we can all meet together to celebrate that we are all unique and complex, wonderful and awful. To be human is to be multifaceted and often intersectional’.

‘There’s an undeniable warmth to this tale of familial secrets and hidden identities’ Three Weeks

The Death & Life of All of Us combines intimate storytelling, text, Victor’s documentary footage and live music from multi-instrumentalist Enrico Aurigemma. The art installation backdrop was created by co-director and visual artist Yorgos Petrou and choreography devised by movement director and performance artist Jennifer Jackson.

Esses’ performance was beautiful in its subtlety … a warm and intimate multimedia experience Theatre Weekly

Victor Esses is a Jewish-Lebanese Latinx queer theatre maker, performance artist and writer. His practice centres nuanced intersectional auto/biographical stories of belonging, resilience and intimacy, encouraging audiences to ask questions about what makes us most human.

The Death & Life of All of Us by Victor Esses

Moving, poignant and charming exploration of intergenerational shame, family secrets, history and what’s left when we’re gone from Latinx, queer, Jewish-Lebanese theatre maker and performance artist.

18 and 19 June, 7.30pm

Alphabetti Theatre, St James Boulevard, Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom NE1 4HP

£3 – £15, 0191 261 9125

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