‘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.
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.
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