Riffing around Nina

Sunday, 23 October 2016 23:00 | Posted by 
Our AD Matthew Linley previews the great shows we have this week to accompany the sold out run of Nina - a story about me and Nina Simone - catch them from Tue 25 Oct !


So we are entering the final week of the sold out Nina - a story about me and Nina Simone

In that final week we are also ramping up our programme of wrap around activity inspired by and reflecting on the themes in the show.  If you've enjoyed Nina already it's a perfect opportunity to come back...

The programme culminates in Call and Response on Friday and Saturday 28th and 29th October, at 6pm.  Four brave North West artists have taken up the challenge to create a short piece in response to Nina. The four - Raven Radha, Aleasha Chaunte, Esther Wilson and What a Little Bird told me - all came to see early performances of Nina and have been spending the intervening time developing their responses!  How they respond, what they come up with is totally up to them - all I know is its quite a challenge - I cant wait to see what they come up with. (You can read a bit more about our four artists below).  The whole evening is being co-ordinated by Rio Matchett, Assistant Director on Nina whose appointment has been made possible by a generous grant from the Greg Grenidge Memorial Trust. Before call and response Unity welcomes too very different pieces which are exploring similar issues to those being explored by Josette in Nina.


First up is Word by Jamal Harewood .  When I saw the performance originally it left me feeling so many things - confused, angry, exposed even - and that was before I realised I'd unwittingly broken the rules.   Taking its structure from a game show Jamal's work cleverly challenges our preconceptions about language.  'I was always told' writes Jamal 'that it’s not what you say, but how you say it - is this true?.  Catch his work in progress show on Tue 25 October, 6pm .

Then on Wednesday 26th October Worklight Theatre bring their multi-award winning show Labels to Unity 2.  Quiet, funny and unassuming this show packs its punch in a different way to Labels and Nina.  Like Nina though, its based on personal experience.


It’s a funny, moving and honest story about mixed heritage and immigration, charting a childhood in 90’s Devon, shifting political landscapes and global refugee crisis, uses comedy, storytelling and spoken word. Expect paper planes, racist romances and lots of sticky labels!
Matthew Linley

Matthew is unitytheatre's Artistic Director and CEO. Previously General Manager of Eastern Angles and Director of Phoenix Arts in Leicester, he is a Director of Windswept Productions, The Hub Lab and Phrased and Confused CIC and an experienced independent producer. Follow him at @matthewlinley!

Website: www.matthewlinley.wordpress.com