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NT Live: Small Island

Filmed live in front of an audience

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.

A company of 40 actors take to the stage of the National Theatre in this timely and moving story.

What the critics say

One of the most important plays of the year. Superb production. Outstanding performances. Andrea Levy’s epic makes momentous theatre.


5 stars * * * * *

Lavish and moving stage adaptation of the late Andrea Levy's great novel about the Windrush generation.

Time Out

4 stars * * * *

Exceptional performances. A gripping state-of-the-nation epic.

Daily Telegraph

5 stars * * * * *

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