for all the women who thought they were   Mad

by Zawe Ashton

We held the WORLD PREMIERE of for all the women who thought they were   Mad at Stoke Newington Town Hall on October 14th 2019. Stoke Newington Town Hall is a beautiful listed 1930s art deco building which we transformed into a pop up theatre for this production. 14 Oct – 9 Nov 2019.

“they like to see us fall
to slip on branches full of fruit we have not tasted”

Lately, it’s small things.
Pop songs.
The radio.
Everyday anguish, becomes madness.
Call on your family.
Call on the ancestors.
Can they guide you home?

“we are pearl and earth and root
we know ourselves to be natural and complete
carved from rock that floats
but we should still be careful what we wish for
some of us can sink in the upstream”

for all the women who thought they were   Mad is an urgent piece of theatre examining the myriad of forces that collide and conspire against black women living in contemporary Britain today.

Zawe Ashton is a novelist, poet, playwright, filmmaker and actor. She is currently starring on stage in Harold Pinter’s Betrayal alongside Tom Hiddleston on Broadway and in the film Velvet Buzzsaw alongside Jake Gyllenhaal on Netflix. Her first novel Character Breakdown was published this year.

Directed by Jo McInnes
Designed by Natalie Pryce & ULTZ
Associate Director Gail Babb
Lighting Designer Kevin Treacy
Sound Designer Tony Gayle
Composer Dan Batters
Movement Director Leah Muller

Cast: Mina Andala, Jumoké Fashola, Layo-Christina Akinlude, Janet Kumah, Jennifer Dixon, Joy Elias-Rilwan, Michael Fitzgerald.

And introducing: Elena Coleman, Chiamara Nwosu and Rae Ann Quayle.

As part of the run, we held a special and intimate evening with the cast and company, which consisted of an exclusive pre-show drinks reception with specially selected Borough Wines, whilst local chef & friend of Zawe Ashton, Troy Cundy served gastronomic delights.

All proceeds from the evening went towards supporting Hackney Showroom’s work with artists.

Hosted by broadcaster Gemma Cairney, the FOR ALL THE WOMEN SYMPOSIUM on October 21st 2019 explored how women of colour encounter the mental health system and how that can be bettered. With a range of speakers including Marverine Cole, Dr Suman Fernando, Dr Jayasree Kalathil, Dr William Penson & Dr Kate Wood, the day included a matinee of the show, a Q&A with Zawe Ashton, panel discussions and break-out groups to discuss actions and organise.


Photography by Benji Reid

Supported by Arts Council England, Wellcome Trust & Cockayne Foundation – Grants for the Arts and The London Community Foundation