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Leeds Playhouse & Leeds Studio 

Tours: 2014 - 2020

Ishmael has fled from his home in Zimbabwe, where a fresh wave of homophobia threatens his life. In Leeds is the prospect of sanctuary, and of a new life among strangers. But will those strangers accept him? The clock is ticking, and his fate is being decided. Can Ishmael find a place to call home again?

Originally commissioned by Oron Mor and Leeds Playhouse for A Play, A Pie and A pint in 2014. It was remounted in 2015 by Leeds Studio for a national and international tour.

It was featured on BBC Arts Online as part of a special season of short films and features shining a spotlight on theatre within refugee, migrant and asylum-seeking communities. Theatre and Refugees was  curated by Vicky Featherstone Artistic Director of London's Royal Court Theatre. 

Watch the film BBC Arts Online: Nine Lives: The horrors of the asylum process laid bare


ACTOR |  Lladel Bryant   

DIRECTOR | Alex Chisholm  

STAGE MANAGER |  Emaleigh Plighting  

COMPOSER | Jonathan Girling 

MUSICIAN| Kudaushe Matimba  




★★★★ '..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.' Scotsman

★★★ 'This is a snapshot, but it’s a truthful one and suggests that Nyoni, who has already made her mark with Boi Boi Is Dead, is a playwright well worth watching.'  The Guardian

★★★ '..Nyoni fights against the toxic language that populates lazy tabloid headlines and political speech.' TimeOut

★★★ A compassionate, engagingly performed monologue about the experience of being a refugee. The Stage 

'...This is a play that makes statistics human. Through a shared glimpse of one person’s story it speaks for many.' British Theatre Guide 


2014 : Oron Mor, Glasgow/ West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds

2015 : HUB (Holbeck Underground Ballroom), Leeds  / Lantern Theatre, Liverpool / Theatre Delicatessen, Sheffield/ Hebden Bridge Little Theatre / Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea/ Wakefield Lit Festival, Wakefield / Oxford Playhouse, Oxford / Ilkley Playhouse, Ilkley / The Bikeshed, Exeter/ Trinity Arts,  Bristol / Malvern Cube,  Great Malvern / Upstairs at the Western, Leicester / CAST, Doncaster / Waterside Arts Centre, Sale /ARC, Stockton / Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham / Brighton and Hove Sanctuary on Sea, Brighton

2016: Arcola Theatre, London / Les Feux de la Rampe, Paris Fringe Festival,France / Stratford Circus, London / The Place, Bedford / Oxford Arts at The Old Fire Station / Key Theatre, Peterborough/ The Back Door, Sutton / Marlborough Theatre Brighton / Little Theatre Sheringham / Diss Corn Hall, Norfolk / Norden Farm Center for the Arts, Maidenhead / Hat Factory, Luton / The Observer Building, Hastings / Phoenix Arts Center,Bordon / Stage Door, Southampton/ Bridport Arts Center

2020: Bridge Theatre / Leeds Playhouse

2021 : The Market Theatre, Johannesburg, South Africa. Starting Warren Masemola as Ishmael 

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