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. It was premiered at the National Theatre, London, in April 2018, directed by Roy Alexander Weise. The production transferred to the Trafalgar Studios in the West End in December 2018.
Nine Night won Natasha Gordon the Most Promising Playwright Awards at the 2018 Evening Standard Theatre Awards and the 2018 Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards.
‘A remarkable debut… Gordon has a finely tuned ear for the humour of everyday life… an eloquent vision of what it means to be haunted by the past’
— Evening Standard
‘Reverberates with authenticity… [has] a great warmth of characterisation’
— Daily Mail
‘Gordon’s intense, moving play pulls the focus tightly on a mourning family, and the mingled strains and comforts that tradition offers… her humour isn’t cautious: it’s unafraid to poke at racism, colourism, and the insults traded as Jamaica and Britain stare each other down, across centuries of brutal and oppressive history… the play says so much about how we rely on family for validation, for confirmation of our identity, putting a weight of need onto them that they sometimes just can’t fulfil. And it points to the cathartic power of ritual, too, in a culture whose burial rites are miles away from traditional England’s sad, grey funeral teas’
— Time Out
‘Sharp and snappy… an undeniably important piece that both celebrates and gives a voice to the Windrush generation and its descendants living in Britain today’
— Broadway World
‘The beauty of Nine Night is in the ordinariness of it. The mainstream delivery of black stories is often – too often – overtly political. Brutalised bodies and violent racism is disturbingly normalised in black British theatre. But what we have here is a pure tale about a regular family, dealing with a regular fact of life. This play is a gift, and you’d do well to go and receive it’
— The Stage
‘A highly impressive debut play… Gordon has a gift for raising big issues through laughter’
‘Natasha Gordon’s debut play buzzes with comic energy and boasts moments of affecting intensity’
Most Promising Playwright, Critics’ Circle Awards
Most Promising Playwright, Evening Standard Awards