Lynn Nottage’s ‘Mlima’s Tale’ to open in London

The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright’s reflection on the ivory trade will premiere in the UK at the Kiln Theatre. New productions are scheduled through July 2023.

Sophie Thomas
Sophie Thomas

Ahead of Ryan Calais Cameron’s Retrograde at the Kiln Theatre, take a look at upcoming shows at the west London venue. New shows are scheduled through July 2023, as well as details for the UK premiere of Mlima's Tale.

Doreene Blackstock and Liz Crowther will play the title characters in Es and Flo. Jennifer Lunn’s drama follows a lesbian couple who must hold onto their lives when a carer arrives. Michelle McTernan plays Catherine, alongside Adrianna Pavlovska as Beata), and Renée Hart and Chioma Nduka as Kasia.

Susie McKenna directs, with design by Libby Watson, lighting design by Simisola Majekodunmi, and sound design and composition by Tic Ashfield. Es and Flo starts previews on 5 June, ahead of an opening night on 8 June, and performances to 24 June.

Ellen Brammar’s Modest follows Es and Flo. Set in Victorian England, artist Elizabeth Thompson stuns the Royal Academy with her painting, “Roll Call” in 1874. Five years later, she’s elected to the academy and supports the hopes and dreams of women across the country.

Luke Skilbeck and Paul Smith will direct Emer Dineen as Elizabeth, alongside LJ Parkinson aka LoUis CYfer, Fizz Sinclair, Isabel Adomakoh Young, Jacqui Bardelang, and Libra Teejay. The show's creative team includes QianEr Jin (set design,) Terry Herfield (costume design,) Jessie Addinall (lighting design,) and Eliyana Evans (sound design and music production.) Modest begins previews on 29 June, with an opening night on 4 July, and performances to 15 July.

In autumn 2023, Miranda Cromwell will direct Lynn Nottage's Mlima's Tale. The 2018 play explores what happens when Mlima the elephant is killed for his tusks. Casting, a creative team, and dates will be announced in due course.

In a five-star New York Theatre Guide review, "Mlima's Tale is a shattering work. The Public Theater's production of Lynn Nottage's most recent play takes aim and does not miss, even though you might like it to. The only reason we did not stand and cheer these performers was that we could barely move at all. So completely had [the play] captured us that we forgot where we were. Mlima's Tale is a play not to be missed."

Photo credit: Es and Flo at the Kiln Theatre (Photo courtesy of production)

Originally published on

Subscribe to our newsletter to unlock exclusive London theatre updates!

Special offers, reviews and release dates for the best shows in town.

You can unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy