‘You emerge from customs into the hot, clean air: immediately you feel cleansed, immediately you feel blessed (which is to say special); you feel free’
Adapted for the stage for the first time, A SMALL PLACE Jamaica Kincaid’s searing story about Western colonial exploitation opens at the Gate Theatre, London on 8 November (press night 13 November) with the cast announced today as Nicola Alexis and Cherelle Skeete. Images of Nicola and Cherelle here
Jamaica Kincaid’s essays, stories and novels are evocative portrayals of family relationships and her native Antigua. Moving to New York at the age of 16 she later became a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine and her first book, At the Bottom of the River, a collection of short stories published in 1983, set a pattern for her late work, mixing lyricism and anger. Annie John and Lucy were autobiographical in nature with an emphasis on mother-daughter relationships and A Small Place continued her depiction of Antigua and her rage at its despoliation. Kincaid’s treatment of the themes of family relationships, personhood and the taint of colonialism continued in The Autobiography of My Mother and My Brother, an account of the death of from AIDS of Kincaid’s younger brother. Her ‘Talk of the Town’ columns for The New Yorker, often chronicling Caribbean culture were collected in Talk Stories. Later novels include Among Flowers: A Walk in Himalaya and See Now Then which follows the late-life dissolution of a marriage through the eyes of the jilted wife.
Nicola Alexis’ stage credits include Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Palace Theatre), The Merchant of Venice (international tour), To Kill a Mockingbird, Beauty and the Beast (Elgiva Theatre), Clybourne Park (West End), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (US tour), Beauty and the Beast, The Lady in the Van (Salisbury Playhouse), Lucky You, The Taming of the Shrew (US tour), Three Sisters (Birmingham Rep), Rookery Nook (Oxford Stage Company), GI Blues (Forest Forge), Bacchai (National Theatre), Macbeth (Orange Tree Theatre), Jitney (National Theatre), One Love (Bristol Old Vic), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Northcott, Exeter), Emma (Tricycle), The Tempest (Edinburgh Festival), Indecent Desires (Lyric, Hammersmith) and Robinson Crusoe.
Nicola’s television appearances include Obsession: Dark Desires, Doctors, Eastenders, Emmerdale, Hollyoaks, Summerhill, Commander IV, Desperados, Absolute Power, The Bill, Holby City, Baddiel Syndrome, Happy and Zappy and Dangerfield.
Cherelle Skeete’s stage credits include Fun Home (Young Vic), The Phelbotomist (Hamstead Theatre), Marcia in The Seagull and Jack and the Beanstalk (Lyric Hammersmith), Harry Pottter and the Cursed Child (Palace Theatre), Three Days in the Country and Amen Corner (National Theatre), Wind in the Willows (Royal & Derngate), The 24 Hour Plays (Old Vic), An I and Silence (Finborough Theatre).
On television Cherelle has appeared in Silent Witness and Doctors (BBC), Danny and the Human Zoo, The Five, Ordinary Lives and Call the Midwife.
Anna Himali Howard is a director and theatremaker. She was Paines Plough’s Trainee Director in 2016. She is also an Alumni Artist at the Gate Theatre and an alumnus of the Birmingham REP Foundry. Her work as a Director includes Albatross by Isley Lynn for NEW (RWCMD/Paines Plough/Gate Theatre), Life Is No Laughing Matter by Demi Nandhra (Bormingham REP/mac Birmingham), 20B by Jane English (Birmingham REP/CPT). As a theatremaker work includes Mahabharat/a by Anna Himali Howard and Zarina Muhamman (Camden People’s Theatre), The Beanfield by Breach Theatre (New Diorama, national tour 2016). Anna was Associate Director on Fleabag by Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Drywrite/Soho Theatre international tour) and Assistant Director on Othello, directed by Ellen McDougall (Shakespeare’s Globe) and In the Night Time (Before the Sun Rises) by Nina Segal, directed by Ben Kidd (Gate Theatre).
Set Designer Camilla Clarke trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Graduating in 2014 with a first class BA hons degree in Theatre Design. Her recent designs include Beginners at the Unicorn Theatre, Highway One with August 012 & Wales Millennium Centre, Bad Roads at the Royal Court, Frogman for Curious Directive at the Traverse Theatre, Paul Bunyan, The Day After with English National Opera, Wind Resistance at The Royal Lyceum Theatre,
Other designs include: Human Animals for The Royal Court, No Place For A Woman at Theatre 503, Seagulls with Volcano Theatre,
Camilla was a winner of the Linbury Prize for Stage Design in 2015. Other Awards include the Lord Williams Prize for Design and The Prince of Wales Design Scholarship.
Johanne Jensen is a lighting designer with an interest in contemporary and devised theatre. Her designs are an exploration of the dramaturgy of light and how the lighting contributes to tell a story in the form of space, composition, tempo and energy.
Her design credits includes Bryony Kimming's new show I'm A Phoenix, Bitch at Battersea Arts Centre, Crave by Julie Cunningham Company at The Barbican, Maktub, War & War, and Tomorrow I’ll Be Twenty for Complicité’s Studio Season at The Pleasance, The Tempest (Etcetera Theatre – Offie Nominated for Best Lighting Design 2017). As associate Lighting Designer her work includes the West End transfer of Nine Night at Trafalgar Studios for LD Paule Constable and as assistant lighting designer for Life of Galileo at Young Vic for LD Jon Clark and Shakespeare Trilogy - Henry IV at Donmar Warehouse for LD James Farncombe.
Munotida Chinyanga is a London based collaborative theatre maker specialising in Directing, Sound Design and Live Arts. Munotida works with text and sound in a process that is similar to that of a DJ by sampling/mixing narratives or chunks of text as well as scoring atmospheres and working sonically exploring cognitive behaviours to produce contemporary work.
Munotida has three styles of work:
1. Multi-sensory, interdisciplinary work that involves investigating the balance between design and performance. An alternative experience, that blurs the boundaries between film, sound, music, projection and live art, to birth a visceral experience - a hybridised performance. To make design on stage something that is alive, breathing and evolving narratively as the text does, empowering the performers as Live Designers.
2. Stylised Naturalism, that plays with non-linear and the ‘anti-narrative’.
3. Pro-wrestling storytelling. Working in the world of wrestling using theatrical techniques to tell stories.
Munotida trained at Middlesex University, the Almeida's Emerging Directors programme the Young Vic's Director Training Programme including Springboard 2018, Fresh Direction 2018 and as the Boris Karloff Trainee Assistant Director.
8 November – 1 December at 7.30pm
Wednesday matinee at 3pm on 21 November
Saturday matinees at 3pm on 17 & 24 November and 1 December
Young People’s Night - £7.50 for Under 26s on 23 November
Captioned performance on 27 November
Tickets Previews £14
Under 26 Previews £12
Full Price £24
Under 26 £12
Under 26 matinees £12
Young People’s Night £7.50
Phone 020 7229 0706