As the Edinburgh Festival Fringe enters its final few days there is still a chance to see HeLa, Adura Onashile’s one woman show about the life and legacy of Henrietta Lacks.
When Lacks attended the Johns Hopkins Memorial Hospital for treatment in 1951, a sample of tissue was taken without her knowledge. The now famous HeLa cell-line has played a role in many medical breakthroughs in the decades since.
The evocative wooden-panelled setting of the Old Anatomy Lecture Theatre in Edinburgh’s Summerhall provides a backdrop for this new piece of physical theatre. Adura Onashile’s powerful and versatile performance captivates for the whole hour as the play examines some of the ethical questions surrounding the treatment of the Lacks family and the scientific significance of the HeLa cell-line.
Meanwhile, at the same venue Jack Klaff stars in a 75 minute show about the life of Isaac Newton, first performed the the Gravity Fields Festival in Grantham in 2012.