HeLa (NU16)

Theatre • Tickets: $10.00


An astonishing story about ethics, equality and ownership of our DNA.

1951, Henrietta Lacks walks into the coloured section of a hospital in Baltimore with a pain in her abdomen. A cell sample taken without her permission was used as the raw material for some of the most important scientific discoveries of the past 100 years. This solo show takes as its inspiration the story of Henrietta lacks and the extraordinary life of the Hela cell line. Hela comes to Zimbabwe following a successful presentation at the Edinburgh Festival. Winner of the Flying Artichoke Award, Total Theatre Award and Amnesty International Freedom of expression Award Nominee 2013.

“This is a piece of theatre that not only entertains and moves, but asks essential questions about medical ethics, vulnerability and the abuse of trust.” **** The Scotsman

“She embodies the woman herself with passion, integrity and sensitivity...Onashile's performance is just as compelling as the narrative she skillfully unfolds.” Broadway Baby

“The fusion of video, music, monologue and physicality makes HeLa a feast for all the senses. This extraordinary, true story is treated with delicacy and astuteness...” The Peoples Review


Written and performed by Adura Onashile

Directed by Graham Eatough



Golden Pilsener Day

02 May



Just excellent!!! Everyone on earth should watch this production. I went to watch this knowing nothing about the story. I was amazed, horrified then moved to tears. The story is such an indictment of the disturbing conduct of ambitious researchers and academics in so any fields from medicine and agriculture to music. To say nothing of the deep rooted institutional racism. Adura's performance and interpretation of this complicated story is such a potent mix of poetic and pedagogic that it becomes simple to understand. Well done Elton and HIFA for bringing this. GO SEE IT. Highly recommended!


incredibly powerful. stunning performance. A must

Keith Walker

A powerful story, told so well. If there's one drama you have to see this year, this is the one.

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