Whist we were touring The Rain That Washes a couple of years ago Christopher, the man whom the show is based on, approached me to see if we would perform the show in a Synagogue that he works part time in.  A show about revolutionary Zimbabweans, written by a gentile and performed by a boy from Tottenham seemed a perfectly reasonable suggestion for a Synagogue in Bushy. Why not? So one Sunday evening we arrived with the set, moved the Rabbi’s podium to the side, set up a PA and performed to a packed house. Ash entered from behind the menorah and all was well with the world. Christopher’s friends at the Synagogue were keen that the evening would have a purpose beyond letting the congregation see and understand something of his previous life. It was agreed that money raised over and above our fee would be donated towards an appeal in Harare, a city I had come to know well during a previous visit.  Under Mugabe’s dictatorship the city has decayed to extraordinary degrees and the infrastructure of roads and housing has all but collapsed. I didn’t think much more about this performance until recently, when a very proud Christopher stopped me in the corridor and showed me some photographs.

“Remember when we performed the show in the Synagogue?” he said “Well look, this is the result”

And there, in the picture, were houses in the high-density suburbs of Harare, reconstructed to become habitable dwellings with proceeds raised from a performance of Christopher’s story in London. It’s easy to forget sometimes that the impact of our work has a far wider set of beneficiaries than we can necessarily see with the naked eye. We should never forget that our lives are enriched and informed every day by the stories that come to these shores from the world over.


Dave Carey

Creative Producer at Chickenshed