Weeding Cane

Sonia Hughes Weeding Cane

Her work has received praise from many people and the poet Benjamin Zephaniah says of her, ‘Sonia Hughes is a poignant storyteller who can read the atmosphere and recognise the relevant’

Weeding Cane, in association with the Royal Exchange Theatre, takes you on a moving journey through a young girl’s experience of separation and reunion.

Weeding Cane is the story of Joy, a child left behind with her grandmother in the Caribbean when her mother migrates to England. Over the years, communication between mother and daughter is through occasional letters and gifts of red ribbons and new shoes. When Joy’s beloved grandmother dies, she is unceremoniously shipped from her home to England to join her mother and the stepfather and half-siblings who she has never met. An uneasy and troubled reconciliation ensues in Joy’s new alienating home.

Told simply, in a sparse poetic style, the affecting stories and words of the mother and daughter are underscored by an evocative double bass played live on stage.

Actors Carla Henry and Juliet Ellis bring to the production a brilliant sense of the unresolved through their edgy and withdrawn performances. Small moments take on a huge significance on the simple, clean set with repeated movements giving the play a strong visual presence.

This moving play is inspired by the experiences of a generation of children and parents who were separated – by geography and life experience – by migration from the Caribbean to England, the ‘mother country’, in the 1960s. Weeding Cane has a powerful and poignant reach through its empathy with the uneasy dynamic between mothers and daughters.

Sonia Hughes comes to the theatre with a reputation built as a performance poet. Having ‘retired’ from the performance poetry/spoken word scene, Sonia is fast building a name as a talented and original playwright. She has had work produced by the BBC, Contact Theatre and Nitro to date.

Oval House Theatre Performances – Tues 4th – Sat 8th April 2006
Weeding Cane – By Sonia Hughes Directed by Wyllie Longmore