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Waiting for myself to appear

A new immersive one-woman show performed by Esther Niles

Almshouse interior, looking to the mirror above the fireplace

Almshouse photograph © Gary Stewart

Dates and tickets

Tickets £15 Book now

Performances between 3 and 27 October 2019

  • Thursdays and Fridays at 7pm and 8.30pm
  • Saturdays and Sundays at 3pm and 4.30pm

Suitable for ages 14+

About the performance

Writer Michael McMillan creates an immersive performance for the historical Geffrye almshouse accompanied by music and visuals from Dubmorphology.

Actor Esther Niles weaves together contemporary and historic stories on black female identity, independence, migration and gentrification.

Waiting for myself to appear is set in and inspired by the restored 18th century almshouse at the museum.

We meet Alisha, a young British Caribbean woman, growing up in a gentrified Hackney.

Alisha works at the museum and spends time looking through the archives. She reads of a black woman from Jamaica who worked as a wet nurse for Grace Belmore Sweeney. Grace grew up and married the Geffrye almshouse chaplain, but nothing more is documented of the nurse. In her curiosity, Alisha reimagines and embodies the nurse as Mary Anne.

Both Alisha and Mary Anne live in times of dramatic change for Hackney and the wider world. Through their histories we see parallels emerging across generations.

Performance duration 45 minutes


Michael McMillan is a London based writer and dramatist of Vincentian migrant heritage who lives in Hackney. His interdisciplinary practice uses mixed media installation and curatorial work. His projects include The Front Room (2005–present).

Dubmorphology are Gary Stewart and Trevor Mathison, together they make art installations that examine the relationship between culture, history and technology.

Esther Niles is an actor based in London and she trained at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Her most recent performances include Hamlet, King Lear, Vice Versa, Coriolanus, RSC; and The Blues Brothers: On A Mission From God.

Location and access

The performance is set in the restored Geffrye almshouse. Access is via the south gate on Kingsland Road (nearest Cremer Street). 

There is no step free access and the audience stands throughout the performance. There are no toilet facilities on site. Please arrive 10 minutes before the performance. We cannot admit latecomers.

If you have any queries, please email


Commissioned and produced by the Geffrye Museum of the Home

Generously supported by Arts Council England and The Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation

With thanks to Autograph ABP

Performed by Esther Niles

Written and directed by Michael McMillan

Music and visuals by Dubmorphology

Costume design by Christine Checinska