The Marvellous Adventures of Mary Seacole
In this acclaimed one-woman play, the true story of Mary Seacole is brought vibrantly to life, revealing how this fearless medical practitioner used traditional remedies to treat the sick and wounded, challenged racism in high places and won the hearts and minds of those she helped across the globe.
Considered the greatest of all Black Britons, discover why and how she came to be so highly regarded, although she was an immigrant and a woman of colour in Victorian England.
“You brought the spirit of Mary to life.” – Zoe Gilbert, Florence Nightingale Museum
“Thank you for such an excellent rendition of Mary. It was truly brilliant.” – Clive Soley
“Be prepared, Cleo Sylvestre will transport you back to the Victorian age and leave you thinking
that you had actually met Mary Seacole.” – Dame Elizabeth Anionwu
Theatre: Cleo made her West End debut in Wise Child by Simon Gray with Sir Alec Guinness for which she was nominated Most Promising New Actress. She then went on to be the first Black British actress to have a leading role at the National Theatre in The National Health by Peter Nichols followed by seasons at The Young Vic
including tours to Broadway and Mexico. She has performed in a wide range of theatre productions including touring with Northern Broadsides and Oxford Playhouse. For twenty years until June 2016, Cleo was joint Artistic Director of the award-winning Rosemary Branch Theatre.
Film: Cleo was in Ken Loach’s films Cathy Come Home, Up The Junction and Poor Cow and has acted in
numerous tv shows from Grange Hill, to presenting Playschool, and guesting in the Christmas 2020 special of All Creatures Great And Small. She made several shorts for Isaac Julien including Vagabondia (Turner Prize shortlist), was in Kidulthood and Tube Tales (dir. Jude Law) and Paddington. In 2019 Cleo received the Screen Nation Trailblazer Award.
Music: Having made a record with the (then unknown) Rolling Stones while at school, she recently returned to her first love, music, forming the blues band, Honey B Mama & Friends, who have appeared at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Ealing Blues Festival among many other venues.