★★★★ 'Full of tenderness and joy. The production is electrified with tension. A knockout.' The Times

★★★★ 'Timely staging... the cast shine.' The Guardian 

★★★★ 'Expertly cast and played production... Gives a voice to the Windrush generation.' The Telegraph 

★★★★ 'Resentment simmers in this scorching tale of race riots.' Evening Standard

★★★★ LondonTheatre1

★★★★ Stage Review

'An exceptional production... a must see.' A Younger Theatre

'What an atmosphere... Couldn't feel more timely.' Exeunt Magazine

'A fine production of a significant and authentic play.' The Stage

'The sheer power of Makubika’s work shines through.' British Theatre Guide

It’s a hot, humid summer in 1958. Tempers are flaring and Teddy Boys are on the march. Jamaican couple Pearl and George are helping Caribbean migrants to cut loose at their Shebeen – a forbidden party where drinks flow, music plays, food is plentiful, and carefree attitudes roam.
On a night fuelled by rum, calypso and dancing, the Shebeen is under threat from the police, and as tensions build everyone is forced to confront some uncomfortable truths.
Inspired by the Windrush generation and set in the writer’s hometown of Nottingham, Shebeen shines a light on a community under siege.
Theatre Royal Stratford East alumnus Matthew Xia returns to direct Mufaro Makubika’s new play, winner of Alfred Fagon Award.

Join the conversation #Shebeen

Listen to our Shebeen-inspired playlist on Spotify.

Time: 7.30pm (matinees at 2.30pm)
Price: Tickets from £10
Runtime: Roughly 2 hours 5 minutes including an interval
Age Guidance: 14+ (some strong language and violent scenes)
Post-show talks: Fri 22 Jun (70th Anniversary of the Windrush) and Fri 6 Jul

Access performances: 

Captioned Thu 5 Jul 7.30pm
BSL interpreted Fri 6 Jul 7.30pm
Audio described Sat 7 Jul 2.30pm

Concessions: £10 tickets available at many performances for children and under 26s. If you can’t attend a show without the support of a companion or carer, you can get a companion ticket free of charge – click here for details.

Our ticket prices increase as the theatre fills. We always recommend booking early to secure the best seats at the best price.

Photos: Richard H Smith

Presented by Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company in association with Theatre Royal Stratford East.



Cast and Creative

Writer Mufaro Makubika
Director Matthew Xia
Designer Grace Smart
Lighting Designer Ciarán Cunningham
Sound Designer/Composer Richard Hammarton
Movement Director Rachael Nanyonjo
Dramaturg Kirsty Patrick Ward
Casting Director Sarah Bird CDG
Casting Director Sophie Parrott CDG

Karl Collins (George)


Theatre credits include: Chimerica (Almeida Theatre/West End); One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show; Category B; Seize the Day; Detaining Justice; Fabulation; How Long Is Never? Darfur - A Response (Tricycle Theatre); Riff Raff (Arcola Theatre); The Eleventh Capital (Royal Court); The Measles (Gate Theatre); The Meeting (Nubian Nights); Fuente Ovejuna (National Theatre).

Television credits include: Hollyoaks (Lime Productions); This is England: 90 (Warp Films); Transporter (Atlantique Productions/OKKO); Our ZooYoungers (Big Talk Productions); The DriverThe Fuse (Red Productions); By Any Means (BBC/Red Planet Pictures Ltd.); The FadesCome Fly With Me2012ExcludedDr WhoThe Visit55 Degrees North, Grease Monkeys (BBC); Black Mirror: Going Dark (Zeppotron); Death in Paradise (Red Planet); The Bill (Thames Television) and Metrosexuality (Channel 4).

Film credits include: The Ones Below (Cuba Pictures); The Unloved (EM Media); Life and Lyrics (BBC TV/Lyric Films); G:MT Greenwich Mean Time (GMTV/Anvil Films); TwentyFourSeven (Scala); Robert Ryland’s Last Journey (Cineactive Productions).

Martina Laird (Pearl)


Theatre credits include: Coriolanus; The White Devil; Three Hours After Marriage; Troilus and Cressida (Royal Shakespeare Company); Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare’s Globe); Shakespeare Trilogy; Othello (Donmar Warehouse); Who Cares; Breath Boom (Royal Court); The House That Will Not Stand (Tricycle Theatre); Moon on a Rainbow Shawl (National Theatre/Tour); Hopelessly Devoted (Birmingham Repertory Theatre); Inheritance (Live Theatre, Newcastle); All the Little Things We Crushed (Almedia Theatre); Bad Blood Blues (Theatre Royal Stratford East); Mules (Young Vic); The Five Wives of Maurice Pinder (National Theatre); Arabian Knights (West End/World Tour); Hyacinth Blue (Clean Break); Venetian Heat (Finborough Arms).

Television credits include: EastEnders; My Family; Missing; Casualty (BBC) Jericho; Coronation Street; Touch of Frost; The Bill (ITV); London’s Burning; Shameless (Channel 4); Free Agents (Big Talk Productions); Monday Monday (Talkback Thames); Little Big Mouth (Pagoda).

Film credits include: Forget Me Not (Quicksilver Films); The Hurting (Fluid Films Productions).

ADAM ROJKO-VEGA (Constable Reed/Robert Dunne)


Theatre credits include: What Flows Past the Baltic (Nottingham Playhouse); The Idiot (Fringe Theatre); Last Thursday Night (The Embassy Theatre); Shakespeare Collection (Shakespeare’s Globe)

TV credits include: Poetry: Between the Lines (BBC) 

Film credits include: Clash Of the MothsNo Plan B (Dirty Negative Films); Into the Surf (Tom Evans); Hack Attack; No Room for Grey (Crooked Cynics); Solen (Flock London).


Chloe Harris (Mary)


Chloe trained at Nottingham Television Workshop.


Theatre credits include: Touched (Nottingham Playhouse); Folk (Birmingham Repertory Theatre); I and the Village (Theatre 503); Scuttlers (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester).

Television credits include: Wanderlust; Call the Midwife; In the Flesh (BBC); Emmerdale (ITV); Broken (LA Productions); The Village (Company Pictures); Banana; The Driver (Red Production Company).

Film Credits include: Trautmann (Zephyr Films).

Radio credits include: Reading Europe – Italy; My Brilliant Friend; The Story of a New Name (BBC Radio 4).


Danielle Walters (Gayle)


Theatre credits include: Be Frank (Intermission Theatre); Summer Begins; Blood Thicker Than Water; Hedda Gabler; Romeo and Juliet; Something Unspoken; The Importance of Being Earnest; Uncle Vanya; Barefoot in the Park (The Poor School).

Television credits include: Chewing Gum (Retort); Fresh (Greenroom Entertainment Ltd.); Casualty; The Legend of Dick and Dom; Gavin and Stacey; If Drugs Were Legal; The Crust (BBC); Sugar Rush (Channel 4).

Film credits include: Kill Your Friends (Altitude Films); Caught in a Trap (Greenlit).


Hazel Ellerby (Mrs Clark)


Theatre credits include: Appropriate Channels; Gaslight; Same Time, Next Year (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough); The Revengers’ Comedies (Aldwych Theatre); Serious Money (Library Theatre); Entertaining Strangers; Ting Tang Mine;  Fathers and Sons; Six Characters in Search of an Author (National Theatre); The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy (Derby Theatre); Pygmalion; The Crucible (Oxford Playhouse).

Television credits include: Endeavour (Mammoth Screen/ITV); EastEnders; The Coroner; Holby City; Doctors; Casualty; Oliver Cromwell; Dalziel and Pascoe; People Like Us (BBC); My Mad Fat Diary (Tiger Aspect/Channel 4); New Tricks (Wall to Wall/BBC); Law & Order: UK (Kudos/ITV); Blue Murder (ITV); A Touch of Frost (Yorkshire Television); Without Motive (HTV); Where the Heart Is (YTV); Tough Love (Granada TV); Peak Practice (Central); Touching Evil (Anglia TV); The Bill (Thames TV).

Film credits include: The Seven Dancing Princesses (More Films). 


Karl Haynes (Sergeant Williams)


Theatre credits include: Passion (Théâtre du Châtelet); War Horse (National Theatre UK, Ireland and South Africa Tour); Much Ado about Nothing (Mercury Theatre); Seeing the Lights (New Vic Theatre); The Ashes; Of Mice and Men (Nottingham Playhouse); Lady Chatterley’s Lover; Macbeth; 1984 (Hull Truck Theatre); Crying in the Chapel (Fink On/Contact Theatre); Wasteland; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (New Perspectives); Look Back in Anger (Harrogate Theatre/Oldham Coliseum Theatre); Bloodtide; Road; Lord of the Flies (Pilot Theatre/York Theatre Royal/Lyric Hammersmith); Macbeth (York Theatre Royal); Aeroplane Bones (Bristol Old Vic); Waking; Sleeping Dogs (Red Ladder Theatre Company).

Television credits include: Gunpowder; Happy Valley; Doctors; Holby City; Most Mysterious Murders; Grange Hill; North and South; EastEnders; Casualty (BBC); Downton Abbey; Emmerdale; Coronation Street; Boy Meets Girl; Blue Murder; The Royal; Heartbeat; Cold Feet; The Chase (ITV).

Film credits include: When the Lights Went Out (Kintop Pictures); The Devil Outside (Ipso Facto Productions).


Rolan Bell (Earnest)


Theatre credits include: Rapunzel (Park Theatre); Memphis (West End); We Will Rock You (West End/40th Anniversary International Arena Tour); Ragtime; A Midsummer Night's Dream (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre); Fela!; Liberation Day (National Theatre); 1936 (Arcola Theatre); The Harder They Come (Playhouse Theatre London/Theatre Royal Stratford East/Barbican); An African Cargo; An Evening of Soul Food (Greenwich Theatre); Carmen Jones (Royal Festival Hall); Cinderella; Jack and the Beanstalk (Cambridge Arts Theatre). 

Television credits include: Our Girl (Series Regular); EastEnders (Series Regular); Doctors; WPC 56 (BBC); Home Alone (October Films); Scott & Bailey (ITV).

Film credits include: Goodbye Christopher Robin (Fox Searchlight).

Theo Solomon (Linford)


Theo graduated from Drama Centre in 2015.

Credits whilst in training include: Mark Ravenhill's when the terror has ended the victims will dance, directed by Jane Gibson and Sue Lefton.

Theatre credits include: work with the National Theatre Studios; The Minotaur; My Father Odysseus (Unicorn Theatre); Karagula (Styx, London); Hamlet (UK Tour); Woyzeck (The Old Vic); Suzy Storck (Gate Theatre).

Film credits include: Surviving Christmas (Studio Soho).

Trailer and Videos

Audiences on Shebeen

Inside the rehearsal room

What is a shebeen? 

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