The one-man show

A performance with music, dance and stories


In HERVÉ I want to give the audience moving and powerful stories, with plenty to think about – and also laugh about. If you are curious about different cultures, music, languages, travel and identity, this is the show for you.



Born in Mali (North West Africa) of Malian parents, I was adopted at birth by an unconventional white Belgian couple who travelled the world. The extraordinary tale of my adoption and upbringing was made into this provocative and humorous, one-man theatre show titled HERVÉ. In the show I take you on an hour long journey full of unexpected twists, turns and deep emotions. We travel from Africa to Belgium, from Cuba to the south of France and Paris, not forgetting the UK where I now live. I will introduce you to colourful members of my African and adoptive family. All of them have led extraordinary lives and the performance interweaves and contrasts their stories with mine. Delving into issues of race and individuality, the show explores how I became the man I am today. HERVÉ is a highly entertaining piece about a deadly serious matter – diversity.


In common with many actors, I struggled financially, and developed a talent for busking. I became an excellent and very popular street performer in London and Glasgow, entertaining people with my dancing and dance impersonations. The show takes the style of a busked performance with a mixture of storytelling, singing and dancing. In line with the busking theme the music is played through a “beat-box”.  The music and the songs are in a wide variety of styles that have been part of my life, from traditional Malian music to salsa, rap and Gershwin‘s opera Porgy & Bess.

Fringe AWard

The show was nominated for an Edinburgh Fringe First award. Apart from Udderbelly at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, HERVÉ has been performed at the Drayton Arms Theatre (Bastille Festival), the Southbank Centre (Being A Man Festival), the Cockpit (Voilà! Festival), the Arcola (Grimeborn Festival), the Old Red Lion, Tara Arts, the Rosemary Branch Theatre and the Trinity Arts Centre, Leeds. 

Performed by Hervé Goffings
Written by Michael Birch and Hervé Goffings
Directed by Michael Birch



...Personal stories are naturally emotional, performed with a gentle beauty. His physical confidence can’t hide a vulnerability that is quite stunning...
— 3 Weeks
...It’s a fascinating story starting in Mali, West Africa, travelling to France and then onto Britain...
— The Scotsman
...An excellent one-man show...
— Malianstars
...The 60 minutes pass far too quickly...
— Theatre Full Stop
...This collection of songs, dances and stories is a thoroughly enjoyable piece...
— UK Theatre Network
Entertaining and intelligent, a superb piece of work
— Jude Kelly C.B.E

Photo: Camilla Greenwell

Photo: Camilla Greenwell


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