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We Need New Names

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A defiant and exuberant coming-of-age story full of humour and humanity.

We Need New Names is a stage adaptation of the Booker Prize-nominated novel by NoViolet Bulawayo, who recently became the first Black African woman to appear on the Booker list twice after her second novel, Glory, was also nominated in 2022. The coming-of-age story which starts in Zimbabwe and travels to America has been adapted by Mufaro Makubika and directed by Monique Touko, and is presented by Fifth Word and New Perspectives, known for their award-winning adaption of Chigozie Obioma’s The Fishermen.

It follows the path of a girl dreaming of wonders away from her home country, only to find herself in a hinterland between where she was from and where she now is, belonging to and claimed by neither.  Paradise. Home of 10-year-old Darling and her friends: four children on the edge of   innocence. A playground overflowing with mischief and games where they imagine countries a luxurious life away from theirs in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe. But when Darling moves to Michigan, the western world she encounters as a teenager is far from the American utopia of her dreams…

Running Time: 1hr 50 mins | Suitable for ages 14+


Lukwesa Mwamba (as Darling), Munashe Chirisa, Anashe Danai, Kalungi Ssebandeke

Listings information:

28 Apr – 6 May                    Brixton House, London

9 – 10 May                           The North Wall, Oxford

12 – 13 May                         Derby Theatre

17 – 20 May                         HOME, Manchester

23 – 25 May                         Northern Stage, Newcastle

27 May                                 Key Theatre, Peterborough

30 May – 3 June                  Bristol Old Vic

5 – 6 June                            The Crucible, Sheffield

9 – 10 June                          Nottingham Playhouse

Further Information:  We Need New Names – Fifth Word