BY BRANDEN JACOBS-JENKINS
18 May 2017 — 1 July 2017
Nominated for 4 Off West End Awards
Best New Play | Best Director | Best Male - Ken Nwosu | Best Female - Vivian Oparah
★★★★ "both infinitely playful and deeply serious and which dazzlingly questions the nature of theatrical illusion... an extraordinary play that defies categorisation and that proclaims Jacobs-Jenkins as an exciting new dramatist" Michael Billington, The Guardian
★★★★ "It’s messy, inspired, invigorating" Dominic Maxwell, The Times
★★★★ "a dazzling deconstruction of racial representation" Matt Trueman, WhatsOnStage
★★★★ "It’s bold, fearless playwrighting: laughing in the face of racism as well as allowing the horror of history to spell itself out." Holly Williams, Time Out
★★★★ "a playful provocativeness… This is an energising production, unafraid of madcap messiness” Paul Taylor, The Independent
“Ripping up the rule book... Ned Bennett meets the audaciousness of the writing with a reckless bravura all his own” Matt Wolf, New York Times
What you gonna do once you free? You just gonna walk up in somebody house and be like,‘Hey. I’m a slave. Help me?’
"The play uses the plot of the Irish playwright Dion Boucicault’s 1859 melodrama The Octoroon…as the starting point for a bigger, wilder, more hilarious play about the tremendous, often tragic difficulties of identity, and life, for us all." The New Yorker
Judge Peyton is dead, and his plantation Terrebonne is in financial ruins. Peyton’s handsome nephew George arrives as heir apparent, and quickly falls in love with Zoe, a beautiful ‘octoroon’*. But, the dastardly M’Closky has other plans — for both Terrebonne and Zoe.
The European premiere of the OBIE Award-winning play by Pulitzer Prize nominee Branden Jacobs-Jenkins.
Ned Bennett returns to the Orange Tree to direct following Pomona, which transferred to the National Theatre and Royal Exchange Theatre.
"A wildly imaginative new work" Village Voice, New York
"coruscating comedy of unresolved history… may turn out to be this decade’s most eloquent theatrical statement on race in America today" Ben Brantley, New York Times
"So energetic, funny, and entertainingly demented, you can’t look away" New York Post
*an octoroon is a person of one-eighth black ancestry
Estimated running time 2 hours 30 minutes, including an interval
Contains strong language that some may find offensive language, strobe effects, water-based haze and smoking
Uprising 18 June - The Orange Tree Writers Collective respond to An Octoroon Find out more
Publicity and production photos by The Other Richard