Natasha Gordon’s play Nine Night is a family drama set over the course of a traditional Jamaican Nine Night wake observed by a West Indian family living in Britain. It was first performed in the Dorfman auditorium of the National Theatre, London, on 30 April 2018 (previews from 21 April).
The play is set in the house where Lorraine, mid-forties, is looking after her dying mother, Gloria. Gloria came to Britain from Jamaica as a young woman, leaving behind a daughter, Trudy, and she subsequently had two children by another man, Lorraine and Robert. Robert, married to a 45-year-old white teacher, Sophie, is an entrepreneurial businessman, while Lorraine gave up her job to look after Gloria. Anita, Lorraine's graduate daughter, is helping her mother attend to Gloria, and has to deal with the demands and eccentricities of Aunt Maggie, an elderly cousin of Gloria's, and her husband, Uncle Vince. When Gloria's time comes, the celebration begins: the traditional Jamaican Nine Night wake. But marking her death with a party that lasts over a week is a test for the entire family, involving nine nights of music, food, and sharing stories – and when Trudy arrives unexpectedly from Jamaica, the different generations and cultures collide.
The National Theatre production was directed by Roy Alexander Weise and designed by Rajha Shakiry. It was performed by Oliver Alvin-Wilson, Franc Ashman, Ricky Fearon, Michelle Greenidge, Hattie Ladbury, Rebekah Murrell and Cecilia Noble. The production later transferred to the West End with a run at Trafalgar Studios in December 2018.