NINE LIVES -Leeds Studio in association with West Yorkshire Playhouse – SOLD OUT

21st June 2015 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

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Written by Zodwa Nyoni
Performed by Lladel Bryant
Directed by Alex Chisholm

Some of us were fleeing.
Some of us were persecuted
Some of us were stripped and beaten
Some of us were dispersed.
Some of us were alone.
Some of us didn’t cheat.
Some of us held on to our integrity.
Some of us had dreams turn into boulders.
Some of us were begging for a taste of your liberty.

One man and a suitcase filled with the past, uncertainty, high heels, brokenness, African dancing shells and hope.
Ishmael has been outed, along with his lover David. He has sought sanctuary in the UK, but is his evidence enough? As Ishmael waits to hear his fate, he encounters new friends, and enemies, all the while looking for a place to call home again.
Zodwa Nyoni (West Yorkshire Playhouse/Channel 4 Writer in Residence 2014) threads together humour and humanity to tell the real personal story behind asylum headlines.

“Nyoni’s interweaving of naturalism and poetry is superb, and lifts this show far beyond documentary, into unforgettable solo drama about one of the key experiences of our time.”
Joyce McMillan The Scotsman

“Nine Lives sheds some light on the reality of being an asylum seeker in modern Britain. Turns out it isn’t huge flat screen TVs and cooking the Queen’s swans. Who knew? “
Nick Ahad, The Yorkshire Post

“ a cracking piece of theatre that offers a glimpse into an issue that’s present in the country and around the world today.”
Adam Bruce, A Younger Theatre


Appearing with Nine Lives as a double bill will be renowned Zimbabwean musician Stella Chiweshe, with a rare and intimate solo gig. This is only available as part of a double bill with the performance of Nine Lives.Tickets are Pay What You Decide and available from or on the door prior to 5pm on the day.

Despite having endured many trials and tribulations,respected veteran Zimbabwe-born singer and instrumentalist Stella Chiweshe has never lost faith in the healing power of music. Some artists project a stage persona which differs markedly from their everyday personality. Nothing could be further from the truth as far as Stella Chiweshe is concerned. The 68-year-old Shona singer and instrumentalist is the real deal.

Stella mono pic PiranhaHer singing and mbira (mbira dzavadzimu to give it its full name) playing are not just a joy to behold, they generally leave her audiences spellbound and elated. Mbira dzavadzimu is a sacred instrument used by the Shona people of Zimbabwe to call on the spirits of their ancestors.

Chiweshe set out on the global concert circuit in the early 1980s and has released seven albums under her name to date. She is a regular performer at the prestigious WOMAD world music festival, and has toured her inspirational music all over the world. Her endeavour and persistence has opened the door to other women to follow her musical, artistic and traditional social status-defying lead.

Today, Chiweshe is a celebrity back home in Zimbabwe, and in 2014 founded the Chivanhu Trust ‘so that our children will grow up knowing their culture’

There is a very limited capacity so to reserve a ticket please email with the number of tickets you wish to reserve and a contact telephone number.

Tickets will be “Pay What You Decide” which means you will pay the company AFTER the show.

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