Stage version of Windrush novel Small Island is streamed by National Theatre At Home

An epic stage adaptation of Orange Prize-winning novel Small Island will be streamed as part of National Theatre At Home.

Thursday, 18th June 2020, 5:30 am
Gershwyn Eustache and Leah Harvey in Small Island. Photo by Brinkhoff- Moegenburg.

Small Island, which streams online from tonight (Thursday, June 18) and is available for seven days on demand, embarks on a journey from Jamaica to Britain, through the Second World War to 1948 – the year the HMT Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury.

The play traces the tangled history of Jamaica and the UK through three intricately connected stories. Hortense (Leah Harvey Emilia, Julius Cesar) yearns for a new life away from rural Jamaica, Gilbert (Gershwyn Eustace Jr Pinocchio, Home) dreams of becoming a lawyer, and Queenie (Aisling Loftus War and Peace, Noises Off) longs to escape her Lincolnshire roots.

The 2019 production features a company of 40 actors, directed by Rufus Norris. Andrea Levy’s novel was adapted for the stage by Helen Edmundson (Coram Boy, War and Peace),

This timely and moving story coincides with Windrush Day on June 22. National Theatre dramaturg Ola Animashawun will be curating content that explores this play in the context of the current global conversation around race and their potential to provide meaningful and timely contributions to that discourse.

Small Island starts streaming on the National Theatre’s YouTube channel at 7pm tonight.