Andrea Levy’s epic, Orange Prize-winning novel bursts to new life on the Olivier stage. A company of 40 tells a story which journeys from Jamaica to Britain, through the Second World War to 1948 – the year the HMT Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury.
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.
Hundreds of £15 tickets for every performance
Please note: This production contains strobe-like effects.
Also, 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.
Production supported by Areté Foundation / Betsy & Ed Cohen
Talks and events
Creating the Music in Small Island Tue 14 May, 6.30pm
Caribbean Women’s Diaspora Sat 18 May, 2pm
The Stuart Hall Project (film screening) Mon 20 May, 6.30pm
A New Beacon: Caribbean Artists Movement Thu 23 May, 6.30pm
Actors Leah Harvey and Aisling Loftus Fri 31 May, 3pm
Director Rufus Norris and adapter Helen Edmundson on Small Island, chaired by Brenda Emmanus Tue 11 June, 6pm
War to Windrush: Black Women in Britain 1939–1948 Mon 17 June, 6pm
A Hole in Babylon – Talk on Horace Ové’s work and film screening, Fri 12 July, 6.30pm
Standing on the Shoulders: Black Women Actors in the UK from 1950s–1980s, Sat 20 July, 2pm
Designing Small Island with Katrina Lindsay, Mon 22 July, 5pm