This show is now closed.
If you live in the Caribbean, or have holidayed there, you should be familiar with Nine Night. When someone dies, you mourn them via an extended wake lasting for nine days and nights. The final night is the most important, the night when you finally say goodbye to their spirit and encourage it to leave the house on its final journey. This splendid play delves deep into one particular Nine Night, originally an ancient African tradition, to delight audiences, and it's transferring from a smash hit run at the National to the West End's Trafalgar Theatre in late 2018.
You can expect a brilliant show co-produced by Trafalgar Theatre Productions, and a brand new play and book by Natasha Gordon. It is being hailed as a ‘remarkable debut play’ (Evening Standard), directed beautifully by Roy Alexander Weise, wonderfully touching and exuberantly funny. If you'd like to explore the rituals of family, food, music and mourning, this one's for you.
What's the story?
Gloria, a Jamaican woman living in the UK who arrived during Windrush, is seriously ill, on her deathbed. When the time comes for her to shuffle off this mortal coil, the Nine Night celebration begins. But Gloria’s British-born children and grandchildren find the tradition – effectively a party lasting more than a week - difficult to handle. Can they bear it?
The dead woman leaves behind an older daughter, Trudy, who she abandoned in Jamaica years and years ago. She also has two children in Britain. Their dramatic differences drive the action forward. Lorraine gave up her job to look after her mum, and she supplies the food. Robert is married to a white teacher, an entrepreneur who finds the traditions of the family's past annoying and irrelevant. And when Trudy turns up out of the blue, the sparks really begin to fly!
Natasha Gordon has managed to inhabit two cultures at once, creating a play that gives a good nod to the ancestral past while still living fully in the present . The Windrush scandal has made the play even more pertinent than it might have been, with a wider resonance.
The Designer is Rajha Shakiry, the Lighting Designer Paule Constable and the Sound Designer George Dennis. The Movement Director is Shelley Maxwell. And the critics are loving it. The Evening Standard says the play is “Remarkable. Captures the humour of everyday life.” The Stage says it's “A gift. The cast delivers perfect undulations of comedy and heartache.” And Time Out calls it “Intense, moving. Knife-edge power.”
Who is this show for?
This exuberant and touchingly funny play is suitable for people of any age. There are no age restrictions beyond the usual house rules.
What to expect:Acting
Recommended for:Anyone (75%)
Reviewed on 18 February 2019 by Clive, Sandys, Bermuda
Very authentic in terms of Jamaican culture and the family dynamics when there is grief, for which I could surely identify with. I did miss the traditional domino playing at every nine night which was missing from the scene. All in all it was a great performance by all the cast.
Reviewed on 03 February 2019 by Carol, London, United Kingdom
Reviewed on 31 January 2019 by Andree, London, United Kingdom
At the end of the play I really wanted to know what happens to the characters next. Truly top notch.
Reviewed on 26 January 2019 by Jennifer, London, United Kingdom
by Stuart King | Wednesday, December 5 2018, 10:28
The National Theatre’s production of Natasha Gordon’s debut play NINE NIGHT, made a welcome transfer to Trafalgar Studios this week.Review: NINE NIGHT at the Trafalgar Studios
by Phil Willmott | Saturday, June 23 2018, 07:33
When our critic NASTAZJA DOMARADZKA reviewed the National Theatre's production of NINE NIGHT back in May she gave it five stars remarking that it was -
"beautiful and harrowing, yet full of lightness and humour that examines grief, family relationships and immigration"NINE NIGHT, The National Theatre's Jamaican Family Comedy Transfers to the West End
by Nastazja Domaradzka | Monday, May 7 2018, 08:39
Directed by one of the most exciting UK directors Roy Alexander Weise, Natasha Gordon’s debut play NINE NIGHT is a fly on the wall piece of theatre; a beautiful and harrowing, yet full of lightness and humour production that examines grief, family relationships and immigration.
Ricky Fearon and Cecilia Noble in Nine NightReview: NINE NIGHT at The National Theatre