Zadie Smith is to write a new play for Kiln Theatre as part of Brent’s year as London Borough of Culture in 2020.
The novelist will pen a new work, The Wife of Willesden, “as a gift to her home borough”. It will be a reimagining of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Wife of Bath’s Tale, and will relocate the story to contemporary London to raise questions about the place of women in society.
It will run at Kiln with dates to be announced, directed by the theatre’s artistic director Indhu Rubasingham.
Last year, Rubasingham directed a stage adaptation of Smith’s novel White Teeth for Kiln.
The play will form part of Kiln’s programme for Brent London Borough of Culture, which also includes a trilogy of short plays by Moira Buffini, Suhayla El-Bushra and Roy Williams.
Footholds: NW Stories will be directed by Taio Lawson and Susie McKenna.
The theatre’s Mapping Brent festival, a community outreach project, will be supported next year by the 2020 fund, intended to encourage people across Brent to produce their own cultural activities as part of the London Borough of Culture.
Brent’s cultural programme will kick off with a large-scale outdoor display – on January 18 – featuring a community cast of hundreds and comprising dance, projection and film, while the line-up will also feature a mile-long street party.
Brent is the second borough to hold the title of London Borough of Culture, following on from Walthamstow, which has been running events throughout 2019.