Nine Night review – joy and grief as generations collide at Jamaican wake

Repeating Islands


Natasha Gordon’s impressive debut about living between two cultures gains extra resonance in the light of the Windrush scandal

There’s a key moment in Natasha Gordon’s highly impressive debut play when Aunt Maggie leaves the nine-night funeral wake that is part of her Jamaican heritage to go home and watch EastEnders. “Big tings are gawn in the Queen Vic tonight,” she announces. For me, that neatly sums up Gordon’s theme – which is the ability to inhabit two cultures and to acknowledge one’s ancestral past while living fully in the present.

Gordon’s play acquires extra resonance in the light of the Windrush scandal: the same Aunt Maggie gets a big laugh when she says that her Freedom Pass is “the only decent ting me get from this teefing government”. But the play is less about living…

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