Six generations, twenty-three characters and one very special piece of furniture
Tanya Ronder's thrilling play Table is an epic tale of belonging, identity and the things we pass on.
In 1898 master craftsman David Best makes a table to celebrate his marriage. In Tanganyika in the 1950s, the Bests’ missionary grand-daughter, Sarah, stands atop the table and voluntarily disrobes in front of the hunter who has saved her from a leopard attack. Later, Sarah and her son Gideon join a 1960s commune. And in south London in 2013, the globe-trotting Gideon finally confronts the family he abandoned years ago to discover a likeable brat in a flamingo pink tutu spouting Mandarin Chinese.
Through it all David’s table is the centre of family rituals, meals and secrets, where couples have sex, where children play, where a corpse is laid out, where songs are sung and names are carved deep in to its grooves. Each mark is a point in time, each scratch a moment lost but not forgotten.
“Highly inventive and often touching”
“Tremendous… richly textured”