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Unity stages world premiere of new autobiographical show

Liverpool playwright and performer Saphena Aziz will premiere her new autobiographical play at the city’s Unity Theatre next week.

Martha, Me and My Family tells the story of Aziz’s time singing background vocals with Motown star Martha Reeves, as well as her experience as a child of the Windrush generation.

The production, coming to the stage on Friday, April 14, received development funding from the Hope Place theatres Open Call programme and the Arts Council.

It is being directed by Julia Samuels, former co-artistic director of 20 Stories High, with sound and visuals design by Laura Campbell and script development by Patrick Hughes.

Saphena Aziz is director of inclusion at Curious Minds, which creates greater access to the arts for all children and young people in the north by focusing on racial empowerment and anti-racist practices, as well as being an independent theatre producer championing the work of northern Black, Asian and ethnically diverse creatives.

She said: “I can’t overestimate the wealth of support I’ve received from Unity Theatre during the creation of Martha, Me and My Family.

“The support from Unity’s Open Call has enabled me the time and space to create this performance and I’m so very thankful to have received funding from Arts Council England. I’m really looking forward to performing for my home community here in Liverpool.”

Unity artistic director and chief executive Gordon Millar added: “Open Call opens up the wonderful Unity Theatre space to creatives from within our community who have a story that they are passionate about telling.

“Being able to support Saphena during the creative process of this production has been a really fulfilling experience and all of us at Unity can’t wait to watch her performance.

“We look forward to continuing the work of Unity’s Open Call, supporting many more artists and companies during 2023 and beyond.” Martha, Me and My Family is at the Unity Theatre on April 14. Tickets HERE

Top: Saphena Aziz. Photo by Jazamin Sinclair


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