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The Gift

The Gift

By Janice Okoh
Imprint: Nick Hern Books
Paperback : 9781848429475, 120 pages, January 2020


Brighton, 1862. A day in the life of Sarah, an African girl, adopted by Queen Victoria and raised in the Queen's circles. Today is the eve of her having to return to Africa, but will she go?

The Present. A day in the life of Sarah, a black middle-class woman living in a Cheshire village with her husband and small child. They are paid a visit by well-meaning neighbours who have something to confess.

The two Sarahs meet Queen Victoria for tea. This won't be your regular tea party…

An outrageous play about imperialism, cross-racial adoption, cultural appropriation—and tea—Janice Okoh's The Gift premiered at the Belgrade Theatre Coventry in January 2020, followed by a UK tour, including a run at the Theatre Royal Stratford East in London. It was a co-production between Eclipse Theatre Company and the Belgrade Theatre, and directed by Dawn Walton.


"Clever and complex... a formally original and intellectual engagement with forgotten history, cross-racial adoption and the impact of imperialism on black British lives today."

- Guardian

"Unafraid to tackle important and complex issues... a must-see piece of theatre."

- Broadway World

"A bold exploration of black Britishness that is as agonising as it is funny."

- Metro