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At 19, Victor found his long-lost great-aunt Marcelle in Rome. She’d moved from Judaism to Christianity, Lebanon to Italy, changed her name and kept a life-long secret. Inspired by her strength and her rebellion, Victor started making a documentary about her life. 20 years later, this is his attempt at finishing it…

Mixing real life home videos, endearing storytelling and original live-music, The Death & Life of All of Us is a funny and poignant exploration of belonging, resilience and an unexpected connection to the past that refuses to let go.

This true story of belonging, rebellion and hope had a sell-out premiere at Soho Theatre and an award-winning run at Summerhall during the Edinburgh Fringe, and continues to tour in 2024.

★★★★ Reviews Hub    ★★★★ The Arts Desk     ★★★★ The Student

"On stage, Victor Esses exudes an easy, open warmth. On screen, his long-lost great aunt Marcelle oozes sly wit and elegance." The Guardian


“Visually rich… a celebration of experimentation on and off stage” The Scotsman

"A funny, thought-provoking exploration of identity and place – both personal as well as geographical... a tremendous piece of performance art." Your Harlow


THE DEATH & LIFE OF ALL OF US is supported by Arts Council England and was seed commissioned by Camden People’s Theatre. Supported by Shoreditch Town Hall, The Lowry, Harlow Playhouse, Camden People’s Theatre, JW3, Manchester Jewish Museum, Migration Matters Festival, Alphabetti Theatre and Hilary & Stuart Williams. Winner of the Popelei Seed Commission 2023.

Creative team:

Victor Esses (writer and performer) is a Jewish-Lebanese Latinx queer theatre maker, performance artist and writer. His practice centres nuanced intersectional auto/biographical stories of belonging, resilience and intimacy, encouraging audiences to ask questions about what makes us most human.


Enrico Aurigemma (composer and performer) is an Italian musician, composer and sound designer.


Yorgos Petrou (associate artist) is a Cypriot born London based artist whose practice spans sculpture, performance, photography, film, and writing to make interventions into sites of geographical, historical, and mythical significance.


Jenni Jackson (movement director) is a Latinx British-Bolivian theatre-maker and movement director.


Lou Cope (dramaturge) is a UK-based dramaturg, who has also worked with Victor Esses on previous collaborations.


Kit Green (mentor) has mentored Victor for this show and is themself an artist whose work covers a range of performance, writing and creation skills across cabaret, comedy, popular music, broadcast, theatre, and digital platforms.


Amy Daniels (lighting design) is a London-based freelance lighting designer, production manager and technician.

Graham Self (associate lighting designer) trained as an actor and has been making theatre in all kinds of ways since 2007. Graham is an ensemble member of Degenerate Fox Theatre, who present new Neo-Futurist work every fortnight at the Rosemary Branch Theatre in Islington.


Images by Greta Mitchell


The Death & Life of All of Us is available for touring throughout 2024 and into 2025 - get in touch.

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