22 March 2022
5.0 out of 5.0 stars
Human Nurture is a short show best suited to small spaces, like the Soho Theatre where I saw it. This new play focuses on Harry and Roger, who grew up together in a foster home for most of their childhoods, bonding like brothers. But when their foster mother dies, Roger, who is Black, gets re-homed and finds his place in a community and culture he feels deeper belonging with and connection to, while Harry, who is white, is left behind and grows closer with more right leaning young men.
On Harry’s 18th birthday, Roger returns to confront his childhood best friend about his recent posts on social media, which have been drifting further to the right. But Harry isn’t in a listening mood.
Human Nurture is a beautifully touching, current, and important play that asks a simple question: How do you explain to a young white man who has had every obstacle thrown in his way, who has suffered from extreme poverty, violence, lack of opportunities all his life, that none of those things eradicate his white privilege? That the colour of his skin might not have been an advantage in his life, but it surely wasn’t an added disadvantage!
It’s a wonderful examination of how even people who have close connections to people of colour, people they deeply care about, can drift into racist territory if they feel pushed to breaking point and find community with the wrong group of people. Slow manipulation into discriminatory mindsets is easy when you have no strong foundation, no group of solid friends who ground you and show you how to move on with your life rather than finding someone “other” to blame for your circumstances.
Human Nurture is a conversation between friends, and honest and raw look at how radicalisation can affect young, underprivileged people, and how difficult it is for people of colour to speak up when they feel unsafe. An important play that I cannot recommend enough!