The Long Song opens at Chichester Festival Theatre

The world premiere of Suhayla El-Bushra’s adaptation of The Long Song by Andrea Levy will run at Chichester Festival Theatre from October 1-23, directed by Charlotte Gwinner.

Tara Tijani
Tara Tijani

July is born into slavery in Jamaica and is brutally parted from both her mother and her name. But what she retains is resilience, charisma and a subversive, spirited wit. This ebullient and life-affirming play finds humanity, resistance and hope in the darkest of times, the CFT promises.

Tara Tijani makes her professional debut as July having graduated from Guildhall School of Music & Drama this year.

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Llewella Gideon plays Old July, and Olivia Poulet plays Caroline Mortimer. The company also includes Ben Adams (as Tam Dewar/Charles Wyndham), Cecilia Appiah (Miss Clara), Andrew Bridgmont (John Howarth/Baptist Minister), Leonard Buckley (Robert Goodwin), Pérola Congo (Miss Bessie/Molly), Miranda Foster (Elizabeth Wyndham), Trevor Laird (Dublin/Godfrey), Syrus Lowe (Thomas/Nimrod), Chris Machari (Cornet/Musician), Mohammed Mansaray (Boy/Ezra), Rebecca Omogbehin (Kitty) and Carol Walton (Miss Rose).

The Long Song is adapted from Andrea Levy’s award-winning novel by Suhayla El-Bushra, formerly writer in residence at the National Theatre Studio and whose work includes the forthcoming Waking/Walking, part of the NW Trilogy (Kiln Theatre), The Suicide (NT), Arabian Nights (Lyceum, Edinburgh), and Channel 4’s Hollyoaks and Ackley Bridge.

Llewella Gideon plays Old July; her many TV credits include Small Axe – Mangrove, The Real McCoy and Absolutely Fabulous.

Olivia Poulet (Caroline Mortimer) previously appeared at Chichester in Fred’s Diner and Top Girls; her TV credits include The Thick of It.

cft.org.uk; 01243 781312.