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6 January–30 January 2016

Leeds Studio in association with West Yorkshire Playhouse

Nine Lives

by Zodwa Nyoni

Directed by Alex Chisholm

‘Some of us wanted to belong.’

Ishmael has fled from his home in Zimbabwe, where a fresh wave of homophobia threatens his life. In Leeds is the prospect of sanctuary, and of a new life among strangers. But will those strangers accept him? The clock is ticking, and his fate is being decided… can Ishmael find a place to call home again?

Following an acclaimed debut at West Yorkshire Playhouse and a national tour, Nine Lives receives its London premiere at Arcola.

This gripping new play from Zodwa Nyoni (Channel 4 Writer in Residence 2014) threads together humour and humanity to tell the real personal story behind asylum headlines. Former West Yorkshire Playhouse Associate Director Alex Chisholm directs Lladel Bryant, UK Young Citizen of the Year in 2006 and the co-founder of Chicken Shop Shakespeare.

Gala Night

14 January, from 7.30pm. Performance starts 8pm
A special performance, followed by a private reception with special guests including Ian McKellen. Hosted in support of the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group (UKLGIG). £25.

Platforma Jam

16 January, 5.30-6.30pm
Five friends from four continents bring you songs, sounds and spoken word from Ethiopia, Palestine and beyond. Featuring Haymanot Tesfa, Leila Seguin, Duncan Mortimer, EbsilBaz, Emily Zaraa. Free

Music from Zimbabwe

23 January, 5.30-6.30pm
A trio of mbira players based in the UK: Fungai Gahadzikwa, Doug Langley and Takudzwa Mukiwa. Free

Bards Without Borders

30 January, 5.30-6.30pm
Spoken word inspired by the work of William Shakespeare by performers from refugee and migrant backgrounds. Free

All three performances are presented by Platforma London and Counterpoints Arts.

Affecting and direct
—The Guardian
Bryant's brilliant ... always engaging
Compassionate and engaging
—The Stage
Energetic ... stark
—Time Out
Warmth and dexterity
—Evening Standard


Lladel Bryant


Zodwa Nyoni


Alex Chisholm


Jonathan Girling


Kudaushe Matimba

Sound Designer

Ed Clarke

Design Associate

Emma Williams
Standard £17
Concession £14
Standard (matinee) £15
Concession (matinee) £13
Opening performances (6-9 January) £12

Standard tickets are £12 or less with Arcola Passport.

Nightly at 8pm. Saturday matinees at 3.30pm. No performances Sunday.

Running time: 55 minutes approximately (including interval).

Suitable for 12+

Press enquiries: Lizzie Forbes-Ritte —

24 Ashwin Street, Dalston, London, E8 3DL
020 7503 1646

© 2017-19 Arcola Theatre.
Arcola Theatre Production Company is a registered charity no.1108613. Registered as a company limited by guarantee in England no.5242988. Registered Office: 24 Ashwin Street, Dalston, London E8 3DL.

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