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Off West End

House of Ife – Bush Theatre

Rating: 5 out of 5.

“House of Ife”
📍Bush Theatre

Yohanna Ephrem and Michael Workeye star in Beru Tessema’s House of Ife (Photo credit: Mark Brenner)

First of all, it’s my first time at Bush Theatre and can I just say: wow, what a beautiful, neighbourhood-vibe venue! From the moment you get there it gives you the feel of a local hangout spot, with beautiful patio and some separated rooms/spaces inside that look super cosy. Loved it!

The plot revolves around 1 family’s story: “In the wake of the sudden death of their eldest son, Ife, one family is forced to confront the traumas they’ve long tried to bury. As the sun beats down on their North London flat, and the head of the family arrives from Ethiopia for the funeral, tensions rise, cultures clash and past betrayals are unearthed.” (source: Bush Theatre)
The play itself is based on a very interesting and refreshing idea that allows the audience to dive deeper into the ethiopian-british culture (quite frankly, very underrepresented in theatre). The beginning of the play paints a quite trivial start, but as the play develops, the issues and secrets that are discovered make the performance more and more exciting.

House of Ife promo poster (credits: Bush Theatre)

There’s a clash of 1st and 2nd generation immigrants, there’s the clash of cultures, clash of attitude about religion and LGBTQ+ rights and tolerance. So much to uncover in just one performance, yet it works very successfully!

I have to give my special ovation to Karla Simone Spence For her portrayal of grieving twin sister (btw what a beautiful girl! I was stunned) and Michael Workeye for his role of a brother and ability to bring very natural sounding comedy into an otherwise sad and shocking play.

Definitely worth watching if you are keen to explore something completely different than the usual West End theatre!


House of Ife

Written by Beru Tessem

Directed by Lynette Linton

Bush Theatre

Ticket price:£10-£20, £15 concs


23 May – 11 June

Zuzanna Chmielewska

Digital Marketer by profession, published travel book author, avid theatre goer and an amateur Malaysia tour guide in my free time. Find me in one of London's theatres, travelling in Asia or cooking and photographing new recipes in my kitchen. I would try anything once (at least!). My theatre blog:




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