Stories from a simpler time.

In the night, a thick tangled root had grown from the boys navel,

and a tough fleshy root had grown from the girls navel, and these roots were connected to their mothers navel, rooting the three of them together. 

They tried to cut the roots. But they could not…. 

Sitting on a shelf in the British library is an unassuming red book.  “The Aarne index” has categorised thousands of folktales, offering a glimpse in to the imaginations of pre industrialised people. 1927’s “roots” is a medley of these rarely told stories. 

 Tales of tyrannical ogres, magic bird's hearts and very, very fat cats will be brought to life with 1927's signature fusion of handcrafted animation and storytelling, with a live score involving  Peruvian prayer boxes, donkeys jaws, violins and musical saws.

roots had its world premiere at Spoleto Festival USA on 24 May 2019


A 1927, Edinburgh International Festival, HOME Manchester, Spoleto Festival USA & Théâtre de la Ville Paris co-production

Development supported by The Tolmen Centre Cornwall & Roundhouse

Roots has been supported by funding from Arts Council England through National Lottery & Kent County Council

Created by 1927

Directed & Written by Suzanne Andrade

Film, Animation & Design by Paul Barritt

Co-Direction Esme Appleton

Music by Lillian Henley

Associate Direction & Design Esme Appleton

Costume by Sarah Munro

Assistant Director: Dominic Biddle

Animation Assistant: Anne Rotzek

Composers Assistant: Max Gallagher

Production Manager: Nathan Johnson

Producer: Jo Crowley

Performed by David Insua-Cao, Francesca Simmons, Suzanne Andrade & Esme Appleton

Storytellers:  Carmel McNeil-O’Connor, Dashka, David Appleton, Joan Brooks, Karl Mengs, Kazuko Hohki, Lesley Ewan, Marie James, Nigel Hunt, Pete Brooks, Phil Shaw,  Rocky Shahan & 
Wendy Barritt


‘Roots will ground you in amazement and delight’  Charleston City paper

‘Music, animation, narration, performance all comes together to forge a unique theatrical experience.’ Post & Courier, Charleston

'Roots' takes you back, and forward, and all around, animating storytelling with old-timey innovation’ … enchants on all levels — visually, musically, imaginatively. Its artistic barebones is part of its power, proof that Hollywood technical wizardry is more frosting than cake, and in the end, the fat cat will eat the cake regardless.’ Charleston City paper


9 - 25 August 2019: Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh, UK

27 September 2019: Theatre Royal Margate, Margate, UK

3-6 October 2019: Melbourne International Arts Festival, Melbourne, Australia

11-28 December 2019: HOME Manchester, UK

3-19 January 2020: The Old Market, Brighton, UK

24 - 29 March 2020: Theatre de la Ville Paris, Paris, France


24 - 28 May 2019: Spoleto Festival USA, Charleston, South Carolina, USA (WORLD PREMIERE)