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Small Island

adapted by Helen Edmundson
based on the novel by Andrea Levy


5 star rating

Andrea Levy’s epic makes momentous theatre.

5 star rating

A big smash hit. Resonant, funny and moving.

Mail on Sunday
5 star rating

Epic and inspiring with exceptional performances.

Daily Telegraph
5 star rating

‘A spectacular adaptation of Andrea Levy’s Windrush novel.


Small Island

Following a sold-out run in 2019, the critically acclaimed production of Andrea Levy’s epic novel returns to the Olivier stage.

Hope and humanity confront cold reality in 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.

Helen Edmundson’s stage adaptation, featuring a company of 40 actors, traces the tangled history of Jamaica and the UK throughout the Second World War until 1948 – the year HMT Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury. 

300x£20 seats at every show


Please note:
This production contains strobe-like effects. 
As part of depicting the experience of Jamaican immigrants to Britain after the Second World War, at times characters in the play use language which is racially offensive; for more information please contact us via our Help centre.


The footage used from 'Terminus 1961' and 'West Indies Calling' is Crown copyright and is reproduced with the permission of The British Film Institute under delegated authority from The Keeper of Public Records.

 All other archive footage courtesy of British Pathé.


Talks and Events
Talks to be announced  later in the year


Small Island ticket prices and Access performances

Ticket prices - 300 x £20 seats at every performance

Monday - Thursday eves, all matinees
£86, £66, £56, £46, £36, £20
Friday & Saturday eves
£89, £69, £59, £49, £39, £20

Small Island Access performances

Access performances

Audio-described performances, for blind and visually impaired people:
Tue 5 January, 1.45pm preceded by a Touch Tour at 12.15pm

Captioned performances, for deaf or hard-of-hearing people:
Sat 2 January 2021, 1.45pm

Smart caption glasses

The first performance for which Smart Caption Glasses will be available will be announced later

Smart caption glasses are a revolutionary new way for people with hearing loss to enjoy performances at the National Theatre. For the first time, service users can experience our productions, including this one, from any seat in any theatre.

Find out about smart caption glasses

Production team

Photography (Leah Harvey, original cast) by Brinkhoff-Moegenburg


Help Centre

For general ticket information

Browse the frequently asked questions for tickets

For general ticket information

Browse the frequently asked questions for tickets