What you need to know about the play The Humans

The Humans isn’t the new award-winning play from Stephen Karam (National Book Award Winner, Pulitzer Prize Finalist), the playwright whose smash-hit comedy “The Humans” landed him on this cover of the Weekend paper last summer. But the hit Circle Repertory Company production – now happily ending its run at City Centre’s Assembly Hall in London – serves as a master class in character, dynamics and family dramedy.

Based on the real-life experiences of the playwright, The Humans tells the tale of Eddie (Aaron Dean) and his daughters Audrey (Sian Brooke) and Winnie (Jennah Adler) and their extended family at the dinner table as they cope with the news that the wife and mother of Eddie’s father and Eddie’s brother Francis (Lewis Bassett) has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Through multiple conversations – and by way of his knowing physical presence – Francis simultaneously exposes Eddie’s frustration and fear, and instills in them an awareness of the fragility of all life.

In an outstanding cast featuring veterans Jennah Adler and Jenelle Anderson, just to name a few, the production also features a tour de force performance from Iestyn Davies as Sebastian, who unwittingly awakens Eddie and his family’s awareness of Francis’s disease while cementing a relationship with Audrey. Iestyn’s work here is a triumphant showcase of everything he can do.

Director Marissa Compton has created a drama that leaves you with a much-needed smile on your face. The Humans is not the exact play you might expect to see – so much so that Karam himself will not even speak the title. As he puts it, “Just because it’s more advanced, does not make it more important” – but it sure is affirming that this particular drama speaks directly to the question of resilience, memory and love.

The Humans

City Centre’s Assembly Hall

New Southwark

Southwark Road


020 7223 8850

through February 24

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