Family, food, music and mourning.
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 nights of music, food, sharing stories – and an endless parade of mourners.
Natasha Gordon’s debut play Nine Night is a touching and very funny exploration of the rituals of family. Roy Alexander Weise directs a cast including Cecilia Noble.
Nine Night Talks and events
Natasha Gordon and Roy Alexander Weise on Nine Night Thu 10 May, 6pm, £7/£5
Culture After Windrush Thu 17 May, 5.45pm, £7/£5
The Stuart Hall Project (film screening) Mon 21 May, 5.30pm, £5/£3
Nine Night Rituals with Malika Booker Fri 25 May, 6pm, £7/£5
To coincide with the opening of Natasha Gordon’s new play, Nine Night, in the Dorfman Theatre, the National Theatre presents How Great Thou Art – 50 Years of African Caribbean Funerals in London, an exhibition of photographs taken by Charlie Phillips.
Dorfman Foyer and Wolfson Gallery, Sat 21 April until Sat 26 May
The Stage ★★★★★
The set – designed by Rajha Shakiry – is straight out of the 1970s. The wallpaper is bold and bright, and there is stuff everywhere: inexplicable things made from crochet, plastic plants in every corner, religious relics featuring Jesus and the Virgin Mary adorn the walls. And there are family photos, so many family photos. The level of attention to detail in the design is incredible – right down to the carton of Lactofree milk in the fridge. If you’re close enough to the stage, you might even catch a whiff of the traditional Jamaican soup that simmers away in the dutch pot on the kitchen stove. Most children of immigrants will know a house like this.
Evening Standard ★★★★★
The Independent ★★★★
The Guardian ★★★★
The Times ★★★★
Broadway World ★★★★
Time Out ★★★★
The Upcoming ★★★★
Daily Mail ★★★★