for all the women who thought they were   Mad

by Zawe Ashton


14 Oct – 9 Nov
Hackney Showroom at Stoke Newington Town Hall
From £15


“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.
Every day 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 miriad of forces that collide and conspire against women of colour 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
Lighting Design by Kevin Treacy

Cast: Mina Andala, Jumoké Fashola, Layo-Christina Akinlude, Janet Kumah, Jennifer Dixon, Joy Elias-Rilwan, Michael Fitzgerald with Elena Coleman, Chiamara Nwosu and Rae Ann Quayle playing Nambi.

Age Guidance 14+
Approx 90 mins, no interval

Stoke Newington Town Hall is a beautiful listed 1930s art deco building which we are transforming into our pop up theatre for this production.

Our bar will be open 1 hour before the start of each performance, serving drinks and snacks.

Stoke Newington Town Hall
Stoke Newington Church Street
N16 0JR

73, 393, 476
Nearest Station:
Stoke Newington (15 mins walk)
Route with least walking:
476 bus from Seven Sisters tube

Stoke Newington Town Hall is a wheelchair accessible venue.

There will be a BSL interpreted performance on Monday 28 October, signed by Jacqui Beckford.

If you have any other access needs, including a free seat for a carer or companion, please complete the Access Comments box when booking your tickets.

Monday 21 October 6.45pm

A special and intimate evening with Zawe Ashton & cast.

We’ll be welcoming guests with a pre-show drinks reception with specially selected wines, whilst local chef & friend of Zawe Ashton, Troy Cundy will be serving up gastronomic delights, plus a few words of welcome from our Chair of Trustees, Dawn Walton.

Following the show, the evening will end with an informal conversation with the writer, cast & creative team.

Please join us for a truly memorable evening.

Tickets are £60 and all proceeds will go towards supporting Hackney Showroom’s work with artists.

Monday 21 October | 12-6pm | £45

Hosted by broadcaster Gemma Cairney, the FOR ALL THE WOMEN SYMPOSIUM will explore how women of colour encounter the mental health system and how that can be bettered. With a range of speakers from scholars to broadcasters, the day will also include a a matinee of the show, a Q&A with Zawe Ashton, panel discussions and break-out groups to discuss actions and organise.

11.45-12.00pm Registration & Coffee
12.00-12.30pm Welcome Address: Zawe Ashton

12.30-1.30pm THE STATE OF PLAY
The current status quo for women of colour in the mental health system
Hosted by Hannah Pool.
Speakers include: Jacqui Dyer MBE, Marverine Cole

1:30-2.00pm Lunch
2.00-3.30pm Matinee

Post-colonial & anthropological perspectives
Hosted by Micha Frazer-Carroll.
Speakers include: Dr William Penson, Dr Kate Wood

Discussion about next steps and taking action in small groups.

5.30-6pm Closing

Whether you are an academic or you work in mental healthcare, or you are a member of the public interested in exploring this subject in more depth, the SYMPOSIUM will be an dynamic and stimulating afternoon open to all and with discussion in plain English.

To book see Tickets below. For more information contact

Please note seating is unreserved, apart from a small number of ‘Best Seats’. Best Seat bookers will be given tickets for their reserved seats on arrival.

Photography by Benji Reid
Supported by Arts Council England, Wellcome Trust & Cockayne Foundation