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In 1951 Henrietta Lacks walked into the coloured section of the John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore with a pain in her abdomen. A biopsy revealed a cancer that would kill her just months later. A cell sample taken without her permission was used as the raw material for some of the most important scientific discoveries of the past 100 years.

Against a backdrop that charts the scientific milestones of the HeLa cell Line; this production seeks to bring Henrietta Lacks back to life, using testimony from her family members, the scientific community and the doctors that treated her.

HeLa is an engaging exploration of the vast scientific progress made possible by the cells of one, unknown woman.


Written & Performed By Adura Onashile
Direction and Dramaturgy by Graham Eatough

Inspired by ‘The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks' by Rebecca Skloot

Produced by Iron-Oxide

Winner of the ‘Scottish Arts Club Best Scottish Show on the Fringe’ Award

Total Theatre Award Nominee 2013

Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award Nominee 2013

Hela toured throughout the UK and internationally in 2014.