UK premiere of play performed at Northampton

The UK premiere of the latest piece by an award winning playwright will be performed at Northampton's Royal & Derngate at the beginning of next year.

Wednesday, 25th July 2018, 11:14 am
Updated Wednesday, 25th July 2018, 11:19 am
Our Lady of Kibeho

Katori Hall's Our Lady of Kibeho will be directed by the theatre's artistic director James Dacre, who has previously premiered her first play The Mountaintop which won the Olivier Award for Best New Play in 2010

In 1981 at Kibeho College in Rwanda, a young girl claimed to have seen a vision of the Virgin Mary who warned her of the unimaginable: her country becoming hell on earth. She was ignored by her friends and scolded by her school but then another student saw the vision, and another, and the impossible appeared to be true.

Katori Hall’s Our Lady of Kibeho presents a haunting insight into the true events that captured the world’s attention. A vibrantly theatrical meditation on faith and everyday miracles, it was hailed “the most important play of the year” by the Wall Street Journal when it premiered in New York in 2014.

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Katori Hall, left, with James Dacre

This UK premiere production promises to be an epic event, with a large professional cast complemented by the Royal & Derngate Community Ensemble and members of the theatre’s Young Company.

Katori Hall’s plays include Hoodoo Love, Pussy Valley and Hurt Village, which won the Susan Smith Blackburn Award and is currently in development as a feature film. Hall recently wrote the book for Tina – The Tina Turner the Musical, which is currently playing in the West End.

Katori Hall commented: “I’m beyond ecstatic to work with James again and to bring Our Lady of Kibeho to the UK for the first time. In these turbulent times, I hope this piece will spark a dialogue within Royal & Derngate’s surrounding community and beyond about healing cultural, political and racial divides.”

The previously play also saw its cast Lorraine Burroughs and David Harewood nominated for Olivier and Evening Standard awards respectively for Best Actor and has gone on to become one of the most produced plays in America this decade.

Dacre’s productions at Royal & Derngate include premieres of Arthur Miller’s The Hook, Dawn King’s Brave New World, Dan O’Brien’s The Body of an American and Roy Williams’ Soul, alongside major touring revivals including UK Theatre Award-winning productions of Peter Whelan’s The Herbal Bed and Shakespeare’s King John.

Our Lady of Kibeho takes to the Royal stage in Northampton from Saturday 12 January to Saturday 2 February 2019. Cast and further creative team will be announced in the autumn.

Other forthcoming productions featuring in the Made in Northampton season include The Lovely Bones, adapted from Alice Sebold’s novel by Bryony Lavery and directed by Melly Still, Joe Simpson’s memoir Touching the Void, dramatised by David Greig and directed by Tom Morris and an adaptation by Barney Norris of Nobel Prize-winning writer Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day, directed by Christopher Haydon.

For more about the show or to book tickets visit or call the box office on 01604 624811.