Nine Night

Mourning is an important part of any family death but this can differ a huge amount depending on where you or your family are from. Nine Night shows us instantly recognisable family connections and relationships surrounding the death of a family matriarch.

A powerhouse of performance, telling a story many will be familiar with.

A detailed set depicting, clearly, an elderly family member’s home is obvious from the off. We know this woman and this family without hearing any words. The working tap and stove even give us the sounds and smells of the environment. A soup being cooked on stage, a kettle boiling and even the sounds of rum being poured are shortcuts into the atmosphere.

The dialogue and script, spoken and unspoken words, is both realistic and believable. We know these people, we know what they think of each other and why. The fact this is Natasha Gordon’s first play, however, is almost unbelievable! The relationships and family dynamic is crystal clear, and requires no guess work from the audience. Every word is carefully chosen and spoken with clarity and meaning.

A true ensemble piece, every actor plays their character to the nth degree. The performances are stunning. The level of care and precision is beautiful. A special mention must go to understudy Jade Hackett who played Aunt Maggie. Hackett’s vocal and physical choices were on point. There was a moment where she moved two coasters, one by one, rearranging the furniture (showing exactly what she thought of Gloria’s house) that was beautifully played. Hackett understudies three different characters, so it doesn’t take much imagination to see how versatile and actor she is.

Roy Alexander Weise’s direction is also incredibly versatile. From the precision of each moment of dialogue and physical interaction to the wonderfully inventive transitions. Carefully choreographed (Shelley Maxwell) and intentions clear, the characters moved through the space carrying on the narrative we were following.

A powerhouse of performance, telling a story many will be familiar with. Nine Night will make you laugh, but will definitely not leave a dry eye in the house.

Reviews by Emily Jane Kerr

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The Blurb

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. Roy Alexander Weise directs a cast including Cecilia Noble.

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