Anne-Marie Piazza

Actor / Writer / Musician

Arcola Theatre: These Trees are made of Blood

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“It is bold and different; the actors are horribly good, and the band members deliciously so (my favourite is Anne-Marie Piazza on ukelele and many other instruments, whose voice absolutely shone).” (Hazy Dazy) 

The music (Darren Clark) is sensational and too good for the fringe, brought to life by overwhelmingly talented actor-musicians who all mix and match between harmony singing, upright piano, accordion, guitar, ukulele, cello, double bass, percussion, French horn, slide whistle, and everything in between.(The Pickle)

“But the real triumph of the evening is indeed Clark’s musical invention that draws its inspiration across a range of Latin American/Argentine rhythms and styles and is played with  sensational passion, virtuosity and sensitivity by musician/singer-actors – Anne-Marie Piazza, Josh Sneesby, Rosalind Ford and drummer-percussionist Eilon Morris. They are the drivers of Draper’s production and Clark’s music and lyrics where horror finds satirical/ironic expression in upbeat songs….A magnificent, sobering, entertaining indictment that makes you want to cheer and cry with rage at the same time, its relevance is not least in the light of our own recent tragedies, political and civil. ” (Carole Woddis Reviews)

“Backed by a four-piece civilian house band, Robert Castell sings Darren Clark’s witty revolutionary ditties: “Elections are unnecessary / When you lead the military.” Imagine a putsch led by Noel Coward…Draper’s concept thrives on the compelling side to cabaret. Like any crowd-pleasing art-form, it can manipulate its audience and, as it whips us into a frenzy, the line between collusion and coercion all but disappears.” (What’s On Stage)

“The music, by Darren Clark, is richly infused with South American rhythms and a complete delight; the lyrics are sharp, too…it’s a musically rousing evening – with a class band – and never loses sight of how important it is to be alert to the trickery of politicians. ” (The Guardian)

“The performers were delightful…they all sang and played instruments, to an unexpected level of excellence. The whole experience was both entertaining and emotional. Some of the key numbers are very memorable and evocative, such as a lullaby called ‘My little Bird’, and ‘Empanadas’, which is more up- tempo.  The band and the singers sang throughout.  The music was unusually good and varied. The cabaret humour and music did not detract from the narrative, as might have been expected, and in the end, the powerful storyline and presentation had many in the audience in tears.” (Latino Life)

“The musical score throughout, is breathtaking.  Anne-Marie Piazza has a stunning voice that fills the club setting with her soaring despair…Combining such a serious issue as ‘the Disappeared’ with a cabaret setting is a risky prospect, but the contrast between the jollity and the harrowing scenes does heighten the audience’s emotional response.  These Trees Are Made Of Blood, directed with passion by Amy Draper, won’t be to everyone’s taste, but the production will hit a nerve with many.  Viewers can’t help but be entertained and horrified in equal measure.” (Camden Journal)

“So let me introduce you to the Coup Coup Club in Buenos Aires. It has got a band, with a mean French horn player, and a drag artist with fishnetted buttocks, black nipple tassels, and enough blue ostrich feathers to fan most of Las Vegas. ” (The Times)

” The show slips between immersive cabaret and naturalistic flash back scenes and the joins are seamless, Darren Clark, Amy Draper and Paul Jenkins spectacular tale is expertly woven.  Everything is beautifully multi layered and particular mention must go here to Darren Clarks music and lyrics. The gorgeous ‘My Little Bird’ which we hear near the start is just beautiful but when reprised delivers a real sucker punch.  ‘These Trees’ is an arresting piece of theatre which brings the plight of the ‘disappeared’ and the resilient ‘Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo’ into sharp focus, leaving not only entertained but utterly devastated.” (West End Wilma)

“The transition from comedy to horror is excruciatingly uncomfortable and deliberately so. It’s jarring and inappropriate as befits state terror.  This emphasises the shock and isolation felt by the victims and pricks the grotesque pomposity of the autocrat.” (Socialist Worker)

The multi-talented, multi-tasking cast switch from farce to tragedy and back again with jaw-dropping panache and conviction. These Trees Are Made of Blood is a mutually entertaining and deeply haunting triumph.(Fringe Frequency)

These Trees Are Made of Blood is an epic show, one that shows why – in the age of video content, live streaming and 3D film – theatre is still relevant. The music is live and loud, the audience is involved, engaged and amused, but it still captures the realism of true stories and honest portrayals. These Trees bridges the void between farcical satire and honest, emotional storytelling.” (The London Economic) 

The woozy Latino-soaked songs, written by Darren Clark, are well performed though the cast is quintessentially British and the vibe is ultimately not that authentic. Still, its subject matter deserves every attention and the cast commit to the task with unflinching vitality. (Islington Gazette)



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