Andrea Levy’s Orange Prize-winning novel Small Island comes to life in an epic new theatre adaptation. Experience the play in cinemas, filmed live on stage as part of National Theatre Live’s 10th birthday.
Small Island 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 follows three intricately connected stories. Hortense yearns for a new life away from rural Jamaica, Gilbert dreams of becoming a lawyer, and Queenie longs to escape her Lincolnshire roots. Hope and humanity meet stubborn reality as the play traces the tangled history of Jamaica and the UK.
"Director Rufus Norris strikes a balance between moments of fragile intimacy and scenes of sweeping breadth. In the end this is a passionate engagement with the past that’s sure to resonate with audiences at a time when the very idea of Britain is under such fierce scrutiny"
"In Helen Edmundsen’s evocative stage adaptation, Small Island roars with life. Katrina Lindsay’s set is transportive and transformative, capturing the chaos of a Jamaican hurricane or the bustle of London’s West End with minimal scenery and maximum impact"
"It is big, slick, pacy, and above all confident entertainment, designed to be gripping and accessible and entirely succeeding. An enormous amount of time and effort – not to mention money – has gone into ‘Small Island’. But it feels effortless"