Now, I See

As the curtain rises in the magnificent surroundings of the Stratford East Theatre, a solitary figure, Adeyeye (Tendai Humphrey Sitma) shadow boxes on a sparse stage populated only by a transparent water-filled coffin and a few chairs and tables. A voiceover describes sickle cell anaemia and it’s symptoms.

Adeyeye is soon joined on stage by his two brothers - Kieron (Oliver Alvin-Wilson) and Dayo (Nnabiko Ejimofor) however initial his presence is unacknowledged by them and it soon becomes clear why.

The play is the second part of Lanre Malaolu’s trilogy that began with Samskara at the nearby Yard Theatre and is set in an anteroom away from a function room/church hall where Adeye’s funeral wake is being held.

We see the impact Adeyeye’s untimely death from sickle cell has had on his two brothers, their relationship with each other, their family and perhaps most significantly themselves.

Effortless switching from the present day to flashbacks remembering their youth, Malaou’s staging (in addition to writing the play, he also directed and choreographed the production) uses movement, dance and music alongside conventional dialogue to unravel the emotions and repressed feelings the brothers feel and felt towards each other. The simple staging and use of minimal props (the powerful use of the water from the coffin alluding perhaps to cleansing and baptism) only added to the visceral intensity of the performance.

This is a show about love, grief, life and redemption, about how we express ourselves, what we choose to show and what we choose to hide. Despite the deep and, at times, uncomfortable subject matter, the clever use of music, dance and light relief (a perfectly choreographed rendition of ‘Under The Sea’ from The Little Mermaid comes to mind) all resulting in an emotional climax that left very few dry eyes in the house.

For the first 15 minutes of the play, I wasn’t sure this was a play for me. By the end of the show, I realised this was a play for everyone. Productions like this are why live theatre should exist – to make you think, reflect, laugh and cry in the space of 2 acts.

This show was reviewed on the 16th May 2024 at the Stratford East Theatre where it runs until the 1st June 2024.  Tickets available here: Now, I See (

Review written by Mike Stocks


Check out other reviews from Curtain Call Reviews and get in touch to have our reviewers head to your show.

We need your consent to load the translations

We use a third-party service to translate the website content that may collect data about your activity. Please review the details in the privacy policy and accept the service to view the translations.