Small Island is an adaptation of the 2004 novel by the late Andrea Levy. It won both the Whitbread Book of the Year and the Orange Prize, and was labelled by the Guardian as one of the defining books of the decade. Some may remember the BBC’s gritty screen adaptation of 2009, featuring a pre-Sherlock Benedict Cumberbatch.
Levy’s tale focuses on the interlocking stories of five characters, three Jamaican and two native English, from World War II to the arrival of HMS Empire Windrush in 1948. It highlights the tough reception given to Jamaicans who fought for Britain, but demonstrates love is always possible – as seen through Yorkshire girl Queenie's affair with Jamaican pilot Michael. Small Islands is about to be given serious
theatrical treatment, as it is set to be performed in the Olivier theatre, the National’s
main stage. This large space and a cast of 40 should give an epic scope to this complex story of love and hate.
Such a serious, dramatic undertaking demands some safe pairs
of hands. Helen Edmundson has been given the task of adaptation. She has a long list of hefty titles already under her belt, such as Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility and Emile Zola’s Thérèse Raquin, which was graced by Keira
Knightley and definitely worthy of a trip to Broadway in 2015. The project is
helmed by Rufus Norris, current Artistic Director of the National and fresh
from his production of Macbeth with
Norris has cast upcoming talent, unknown but experienced,
giving them an excellent platform to show their skills. Amongst them is Aisling
Loftus, veteran of BBC epic drama War and
Peace, where she touched hearts with her sweet-natured, timid portrayal of
the penniless Sonya. We hope she and other cast members will do justice to this important topic.
|What||Small Island, National Theatre|
|Where||National Theatre, South Bank, London, SE1 9PX | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Waterloo (underground)|
17 Apr 19 – 10 Aug 19, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM
|Price||£15 - £45|
|Website||Click here to book and for more information|