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Zadie Smith world premiere to play as part of Kiln Theatre's programme for Brent London Borough of Culture 2020

Smith will reunite with Kiln Theatre's artistic director Indhu Rubasingham after White Teeth in 2018

Ayesha Antoine, Michele Austin, Ayesha Dharker, Tony Jayawardena, Richard Lumsden, Karl Queensborough, Sid Sagar, Amanda Wilkin and Assad Zaman in White Teeth
© Mark Douet

Zadie Smith will present a world premiere of The Wife of Willesden in the Kiln Theatre's programme as part of Sadiq Khan's Brent London Borough of Culture next year, it was announced today.

Smith's play will be directed by the Kiln Theatre's artistic director, Indhu Rubasingham, renewing their collaboration after the world premiere stage adaptation of Smith's White Teeth in 2018. The show reimagines Geoffrey Chaucer's The Wife of Bath's Tale 630 years after the original and tackles important questions about the place of women in society.

A trilogy of short plays by Moira Buffini, Suhayla El-Bushra and Roy Williams will follow, directed by Taio Lawson and Susie McKenna. Footholds: NW Stories builds on the Kiln Theatre's tradition started with The Great Game: Afghanistan and Women, Power and Politics, an evening of three independent stories that reinvestigate the different neighbourhoods of the local area.

Also part of the programme are the Mapping Brent Festival – a Kiln Theatre community outreach project supported by the 2020 Culture Fund that gives young people in the borough a platform to tell their stories – and The Agency, a programme for people aged 16 to 25 in Brent to workshop and pitch business and social enterprise ideas for up to £2000 funding and support. The Agency runs nationwide and takes place in London, Manchester, Cardiff and Belfast.

Brent will be the second London Borough of Culture in 2020, a major initiative launched by the Mayor of London in June 2017 inspired by the UK City and European Capital of Culture programmes. More than 20,000 people backed Brent's bid to be London Borough of Culture 2020.