National Theatre Live: Small Island

Saturday, September 21 - Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Small Island
adapted by Helen Edmundson
based on the novel by Andrea Levy


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, England.

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 took to the stage of the National Theatre in London in this timely and moving story.

5 STARS! ‘One of the most important plays of the year. Andrea Levy’s epic makes momentous theatre.’ – Guardian

5 STARS! ‘Exceptional performances. A gripping state-of-the-nation epic.’ – Daily Telegraph

5 STARS! ‘Extraordinary. A spectacular adaptation of Andrea Levy’s Windrush novel.’ – Observer

5 STARS! ‘Rufus Norris’s effortlessly enjoyable production is everything a show should be. It speaks to all of us, today.’ – Metro

  • Country UK
  • Year 2019
  • Running Time 170 minutes
  • Writer Andrea Levy (novel), Helen Edmundson (adaptation)
  • Cast Leah Harvey, Gershwyn Eustace Jr., Aisling Loftus, CJ Beckford
  • Accessibility Assistive Listening, T-Coil