(l to r) Leah Harvey and CJ Beckford in National Theatre’s ‘Small Island.’ (Photo: Brinkhoff Moegenburg)
The UK’s National Theatre continues to share free, critically acclaimed stage productions via its YouTube channel. This week’s selection is Small Island, which was filmed live the National Theatre’s Olivier stage in 2019.
Based on Andrea Levy’s Orange Prize-winning novel and adapted for the stage by Helen Edmundson, Small Island 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 tells the epic story, which journeys from Jamaica to Britain, through the Second World War to 1948 – the year the HMT Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury carrying more than a thousand West Indian immigrants.
This production is available for streaming through June 25. Click here to donate to The National Theatre.