On Friday 27th April, 8 SoundSkool students were given the opportunity to go see Nine Night at Southbank’s The National. This amazing opportunity was provided by theatre producer Tobi Kyeremateng, who fundraised to be able to offer our students free tickets as part of her #BlackNineNight initiative.This campaign has provided the means to take 240 young black creatives through the doors of the National, offering the experience of the magic of theatre and stage production. A massive thanks to Tobi, who also organised an exclusive tour around the National to see what goes on behind the scenes. Level 3 student Georgia, who attended the tour and play, has written a review below:
“The tour beforehand gave us insight to what happens during the production of a show. The National is known for making their set/props and costume on site; this means that they have a big warehouse like space so things can get done. It was like seeing one big art/DT department which was pretty amazing to experience. You appreciate an art form a lot more when you’re given a chance to observe what happens in its baby stages.
We then went through to the auditorium where the set was different from our last visit which was The Barbershop Chronicles. Before, the set was on level ground and very up close and personal, especially if you were sitting on the lower front row. It sort of added to the experience with the show having undertones of togetherness, as there was that connection even just by seating. But with Nine Night there was an actual stage whilst the set was at an angle, which depicted the family house. Through the duration of the production, the story and it’s colourful characters took us on a rollercoaster ride of emotions from laughter to sadness. The show is about a British Jamaican family that have lost a vital, elderly family member, with her death then setting the whole play in motion. The show dealt with themes of bereavement, money problems, clashing egos and letting go.
From a personal point of view, a lot of the shows aspects reminded me of The Desmonds (a black British show from the early 90s) and my own family all in one. With the production’s whole message it gave me a lot to think about in terms of what my family might have went through when my great grandma passed away to the banter that was flowing throughout the show. I’m glad I saw the show at this moment in time where, politically in my opinion, Black British people are in a gray area when it comes to feeling like they belong in this country. We are often treated unfairly when the elderly Black British community have done nothing but work since coming here in the Windrush Era. So to see this play at this time fills me with nothing but love and pride for my background and culture.”