About Nine Night
Following a smash hit sold-out run at the National Theatre, Nine Night, Natasha Gordon’s ‘remarkable debut play’ (Evening Standard) transfers to the West End this December. Roy Alexander Weise directs this touching and exuberantly funny exploration of the rituals of family.
Gloria is gravely sick. When her time comes, the celebration begins; the traditional Jamaican Nine Night Wake. But for Gloria’s children and grandchildren, marking her death with a party that lasts over a week is a test. Nine rum-fuelled nights of music, food, storytelling and laughter – and an endless parade of mourners.
Tell Me More
After an acclaimed run at the National Theatre, Natasha Gordon’s “Nine Night” transfers to the West End for a limited run. Called “exuberantly funny” by The Guardian, this timely new play demonstrates the traditions, tensions, and triumphs of a Jamaican family living in London.
Set at a Jamaican wake, the play follows a family celebrating Nine Night (also known as Dead Yar), the final night in the traditional mourning period commonly practiced in the Caribbean. Following the death of Gloria, three generations of family join together to grieve. British-born Lorraine has been tasked with hosting, but after spending months looking after her terminally-ill mother, keeping the tradition alive is the last thing she wants to be doing. Her brother, Robert, is too concerned with own life to want to help, and her daughter, Anita, also requires some convincing about the traditional mourning practices. This hilarious and poignant study of a family dealing with grief demonstrates the healing power of mourning in a culture whose burial rites are miles away from traditional English funeral teas.
What To Watch For
- Playwright Natasha Gordon comes from a Jamaican family and experienced the Nine Night tradition for the first time herself when her grandmother passed away a few years ago.
- Director, Roy Alexander Weise, has also been to lots of Nine Nights and found himself able to relate to every character in some way.
- 2018 marks 70 years since the Empire Windrush brought hundreds of Jamaicans across to Britain. However, rather than commemorating their invaluable service to the country, the anniversary has launched a political storm over the threat of deportation.
1hr 45min (no interval)