Nine Night

Updated: Jan 28, 2019


Trafalgar Studios

Until 9 February 2019




Director: Roy Alexander Weise

Writer: Natasha Gordon

Cast: Natasha Gordon, Oliver Alvin-Wilson, Michelle Greenidge, Hattie Ladbury, Rebekah Murrell, Cecilia Noble, Karl Collins

Photos: Helen Murray


"For those not in the know, there is something to learn and for those in the know there is much to recognise given the audience response."

“At times, the characters can border on caricature particularly Aunty Maggie, who dominates proceedings in Patois, and who meets her match in larger-than-life Trudy fresh from the Caribbean. Yet it is these two archetypes which steal the show with the best lines and must surely be in line for a sit-com series."

Referring to the nine nights spent watching over a recently deceased body in traditional Jamaican culture, this is a humorous and passionate play from writer Natasha Gordon who plays the lead (Lorraine) in her debut play. For those not in the know, there is something to learn and for those in the know there is much to recognise given the audience response.


It is the lead female characters and their stories that steer Nine Night. Aunty Maggie (Cecilia Noble) who endlessly judges everyone’s shortfalls; Lorraine, the put-upon, dutiful daughter who finally loses it, Trudy (Michelle Greenidge) the elder sister, left behind in Jamaica, whose sense of neglect is tangible, and the deceased mother who presides over proceedings in absentia. The male characters – recognisable and reputable actors Oliver Alvin-Wilson and Karl Collins - are penned as shadows in comparison, as is the only white player (Hattie Ladbury) who seems two-dimensional as a character despite facing life-changing decisions.


At times, the characters can border on caricature particularly Aunty Maggie, who dominates proceedings in Patois, and who meets her match in larger-than-life Trudy fresh from the Caribbean. Yet it is these two archetypes which steal the show with the best lines and must surely be in line for a sit-com series.


It is the sisters who have a story to tell, which is unleashed by the bereavement. Their narratives ebb and flow as relatives come and go over the nine-night wake. Hosting the long wake falls mainly on Lorraine, who endlessly cooks and cleans. The demands seem insurmountable, but at the same time, keeping busy and being surrounded by family and friends seems part of the grieving process. Eventually, as in all family situations, tempers flare and tears are shed. Nine Night does well to leave the end open and Natasha Gordon refuses to give a saccharine resolution.





CULTURE REVIEWS AND PODCASTS LONDON 2020

  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn Social Icon
  • Facebook Social Icon Capital Reviews
  • Twitter Social Icon