skip to main content

Small Island

adapted by Helen Edmundson
based on the novel by Andrea Levy

24 February to 30 April 2022
Running Time: 3 hours 5 mins inc a 20 min interval

5 star rating

Epic and inspiring. Small Island has found its ideal home.

Daily Telegraph
5 star rating

Extraordinary. A spectacular adaptation of Andrea Levy's Windrush novel.

5 star rating

Effortlessly enjoyable and everything a show should be. It speaks to all of us, today

5 star rating

A wonderful production.

Mail on Sunday
5 star rating

A tremendous, tragi-comic dance through a pivotal moment in British history.

The Telegraph
5 star rating

A triumphant, huge-hearted epic

5 star rating

vital and engrossing

Broadway World
5 star rating

Utterly sensational – an engrossing, all-embracing piece of theatre.

What's On Stage
4 star rating

A superb new cast show this story of love, war and racial prejudice has earned its place in the National Theatre pantheon

The Guardian
4 star rating

Balances fragile intimacy and sweeping breadth

Evening Standard
4 star rating

Lavish and moving

Time Out
3 star rating

there's much to savour

The Times

Small Island

The acclaimed, five-star production of Andrea Levy's prize-winning novel, Small Island, returns.

Hortense yearns for a new life away from rural Jamaica, Gilbert dreams of becoming a lawyer and Queenie longs to escape her Lincolnshire roots.

Small Island follows their lives through the Second World War until the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush at Tilbury, where hopes for the future soon meet the stubborn reality of post-war Britain.

Adapted by Helen Edmundson and directed by Rufus Norris, this 'resonant, funny and moving' (★★★★★ Mail on Sunday) play brings to life the tangled history of Jamaica and the UK.


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.

Supported by the Garfield Weston Foundation through the Weston Culture Fund


Garfield Weston Foundation logo

The reopening of the Olivier theatre is generously supported by Areté Foundation / Betsy & Ed Cohen

Connecting Cultures with the Cast of Small Island (2022)

What does your culture mean to you?

More info

Ticket prices

Monday - Thursday evenings and all matinees:
£86, £66, £56, £46, £36, £20

Friday & Saturday evenings:
£89, £69, £59, £49, £39, £20


Leonie Elliott portrait
Leonie Elliott
Adam Ewan portrait
Mr Buxton
Adam Ewan
David Fielder
Mrs Ryder
Amy Forrest
Soames / Officer
Andrew Frame
Martin Hutson portrait
Martin Hutson
Stephanie Jacob portrait
Mrs Buxton / Mrs Todd
Stephanie Jacob
Sandra James-Young portrait
Miss Jewel
Sandra James-Young
CJ Johnson portrait
CJ Johnson
Rebecca Lee
Rachel Lumberg portrait
Aunt Dorothy
Rachel Lumberg
Mirren Mack portrait
Mirren Mack
Male Ensemble
Daniel Norford
Tom Page portrait
G.I. / Ensemble
Tom Page
David Webber portrait
Mr Philip
David Webber
Marcel White portrait
Male Ensemble
Marcel White
Flo Wilson
Miss Ma / Ensemble
Flo Wilson

Production team

Photo of Leonie Elliott by Franklyn Rodgers

The footage used in the production, 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.

Help Centre

For general ticket information

Browse the frequently asked questions for tickets

For general ticket information

Browse the frequently asked questions for tickets