About the showAfter a smash-hit, sold-out run on the National Theatre’s Dorfman stage this spring, Natasha Gordon’s debut play Nine Night transfers to the West End. Following a raft of rave reviews, the exuberant, touching production plays a limited season at Trafalgar Studios, marking the first time a play by a black, female playwright is staged in the West End.
Touching on themes of grief, family rituals and tradition, Nine Night explores the celebrations of a Jamaican Nine Night Wake. Gloria has died, after a lengthy decline where she was looked after by her daughter Lorraine. Following the dictates of Jamaican culture, Lorraine organises Nine Night, the customary wake that lasts for nine nights, where the dead are celebrated, and their ghost is ushered into the afterlife.
British-born Lorraine and her daughter are less enthused about this tradition, but the older relatives insist on its strict adherence. As the nights wear on, family drama unfolds is this extraordinary, funny and moving new play.
Nine Night is Natasha Gordon’s first play. She is an accomplished actor, having appeared in successful productions at the Tricycle (Red Velvet), the Royal Court (The Low Road, Clubland) and the Young Vic (Mules), as well as television appearances.
Roy Alexander Weise directs, with previous credits including the critically-acclaimed The Mountaintop at the Young Vic, Br’er Cotton at Theatre503, and Jekyll & Hyde at the National Youth Theatre. The production features design by Rajha Shakiry, lighting design by Paule Constable and sound design by George Dennis, with movement direction by Shelley Maxwell.
An extraordinary play about grief, tradition and its conflict with modern life, Nine Night has had audiences clamouring for a transfer since its run at the National. Playing a strictly limited West End season, the production runs at London’s Trafalgar Studios from 1 December 2018 to 8 February 2019, with a press night on 6 December 2018.
Who Should See It?Those who missed out on the production at the National Theatre now have the chance to catch it in the West End. A snapshot of British-Jamaican culture, it is a great reflection of the cultural wealth of Britain today.
Nine Night may not be suitable for children.