Baobab Tree Theatre Company was created in response to Jack of Heart's (formerly King Jack Queen) success and growing support from its debut performance in London. The Baobab Tree is an African tree also known as "The Tree of Life". Its big trunk absorbs and stores lots of water during rainy season, therefore producing a nutritious "super fruit" in the dry season. Baobab Tree Theatre Company is named after this stunning, unique tree because we aim to create memorable theatre that is poignant and represents life.
The company's name was inspired by the book 'South of Forgiveness' by Thordis Elva and Tom Stranger. The book retells their story of rape and reconciliation through their personal development during their teen years, and then the week spent in Cape Town together. Naturally whilst reading the book many strong emotions evoke. Thordis' experience was not one that most people would automatically regard as rape; however, this well considered, intimate account of her journey highlights some myths that often invalidate survivor's stories. During the week in Cape Town to seek forgiveness, Thordis and Tom visit a botanical garden. It is here where they share a healing moment at the roots of a Baobab Tree. The following is a passage from this moment;
"I circle the tree, studying it from all sides... 'THE BAOBAB TREE - A TREE OF LIFE', he [Tom] reads from the sign. I lean on his
shoulder and cry as we read about how the baobab is literally the tree of life, where every part of it has value to either man
or animal... The tree of life lives up to its name, and I cry at its feet. I cry over the heavy burden of secrecy that often
threatened to break me... I cry because I finally eye the finishing line on a journey that brought me halfway across the planet
and half a lifetime into the past."
South of Forgiveness, Thorids Elva and Tom Stranger
It was after reading South of Forgiveness that Eloise decided on the name of the company to reflect the real and immersive style of theatre that the company creates. So, the Baobab Tree Theatre Company was born, with a strong connection to its first ever production, King Jack Queen, and a hint into the future theatre it will produce.