A play telling the story of a lesbian relationship between two older , interracial women is to premiere at Cardiff’s Wales Millennium Centre this May. Es & Flo, which was originally delayed due to the pandemic has been praised for its insightful portrayal of lesbian relationships, as well as its commitment to fighting for what’s right.
In the 1980s, Es & Flo fell in love and have been living as a secret couple ever since. As Es becomes more forgetful, an unexpected carer arrives, and the outside world starts to come crashing in. Flo fights to protect the life they’ve built together, and faces the hardest battle of her life – to hold on to the woman she loves.
A group of five women from different generations come together to tell the story.
Doreene Blackstock and Liz Crowther star as the grandmother and mother, respectively, with Michelle McTernan and Adrianna Pavlovska playing their daughters. Kasia is the youngest role shared between two young actors from Cardiff, Reesie Dupe and Mirella Siciliano. Susie McKenna directs and leads an all-female creative team.
Es & Flo writer Jennifer Lunn said: “My Grandmother lived with dementia for many years. As a family, we had to navigate the long, complex, unpredictable journey, constantly adjusting our own roles within it whilst holding on to our relationships with her – relationships which were still full of joy, humour, and love.
“I really wanted to honour the reality of the experience of people living with dementia and their family carers and to celebrate the incredible love and care at the heart of these lives. Es & Flo is a story about secrets and family and the strength of women coming together – but above all it’s a story about love – which was the biggest gift my Grandmother gave me. She was an amazing woman and is absolutely in the DNA of this play, right down to her love of Jelly Babies and Jammie Dodgers. I hope it does her proud.”
The story is based on the experiences of women who participated in the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp in the 1980s and the feminist movement that helped to inspire their connection.
Es & Flo, the newest play written by Wales Millennium Centre Productions, is another success story from the region. This productions of Hamed Amiri’s The Boy with Two Hearts, Connor Allen’s The Making of a Monster, Llinos Mai’s Anthem, and Kaite O’Reilly’s The Beauty Parade have all been well-received by audiences and critics alike.
Wales Millennium Centre Artistic Director Graeme Farrow states: “I’m delighted that this brilliant script by Jennifer Lunn will be coming to life on stage this year, after being delayed due to the pandemic.
“It’s a wonderful love story that tackles themes including dementia, family, sexuality, and dark secrets. We’re very proud to have assembled such a great all female cast and creative team – including brilliant Welsh talent including our two new young actors who will play the part of Kasia.”
Es & Flo premieres at Wales Millennium Centre’s Weston Studio on 28 April – 13 May. Tickets are available now at wmc.org.uk.