Arts & Culture

National Theatre at Home: Small Island

7:00 pm - 10:00 pm | 19 June 2020
Online | Free

Filmed live during its sold-out run in 2019, the National Theatre’s epic production of Andrea Levy’s Orange Prize-winning novel is streaming on YouTube to mark Windrush Day, 22 June 2020.

In June 2018, the government announced an annual Windrush Day to encourage communities across the country to commemorate the Windrush story.

Windrush Day marks the anniversary of the arrival of MV Empire Windrush at the Port of Tilbury, near London, on 22 June 1948. The arrival of the Empire Windrush 72 years ago marked a seminal moment in Britain’s history and has come to represent the rich diversity of this nation.

Those who arrived on the Empire Windrush, their descendants and those who followed them have made and continue to make an enormous contribution to Britain, not just in the vital work of rebuilding the country and public services following World War 2, but in enriching our shared social, economic, cultural and religious life.

Overcoming great sacrifice and hardship, the Windrush Generation and their descendants have gone on to lead the field across public life, in business, the arts and sport. Britain would be much diminished without their contribution.

If you would like to mark Windrush Day, please click  here for project ideas, marketing and event toolkits, and community resource packs.


Small Island embarks on a journey from Jamaica to Britain, through the Second World War to 1948.

The play follows three intricately connected stories: Hortense yearns for a new life away from rural Jamaica, Gilbert dreams of becoming a lawyer, and Queenie longs to escape her Lincolnshire roots. Hope and humanity meet stubborn reality as the play traces the tangled history between Jamaica and the UK.

A company of 40 actors take to the stage in this timely and moving story.

NB: BBFC rating 15, when released in cinema. As part of depicting the experience of Jamaican immigrants to Britain after the Second World War, at times characters in the play use language which is racially offensive.

Watch it here

Adapted by Helen Edmunson.

Available to watch now until to 25 June 2020 – 7 PM.
Running Time: 2 hours 55 minutes including a short interval


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