Martina Laird interview – Mustapha Matura’s MEETINGS, Orange Tree Theatre

Interview by: Christina Nicole
Published: Friday 03 November 2023, 7:30am

Mustapha Matura’s MEETINGS, Orange Tree Theatre
Produced in association with the JMK Trust

Martina Laird plays Jean. Her theatre credits include The Animal Kingdom (Hampstead Theatre), 15 Heroines (Jermyn Street Theatre), King Hedley II, Bad Blood Blues (Theatre Royal Stratford East), All’s Well That End’s Well, Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare’s Globe), Shebeen (Nottingham Playhouse), Coriolanus, The White Devil, Three Hours After Marriage, Troilus and Cressida (Royal Shakespeare Company), Julius Cesar, Henry IV, The Tempest, Othello (Donmar Warehouse), Who Cares, Breath Boom (Royal Court Theatre), Moon On a Rainbow Shawl (Tawala Theatre Company/National Theatre), The House That Will Not Stand (Kiln Theatre), Hopelessly Devoted (Birmingham Rep), All The Little Things We Crushed (Almedia Theatre), Mules, Arabian Nights (Young Vic Theatre), The Five Wives of Maurice Pinder (National Theatre), and Hyacinth Blue (Lyric Theatre). Her television credits include Dreamland, Unforgotten, Shakespeare and Hathway, The Bay, Eastenders, Jericho, The Dumping Ground, London’s Burning and Casualty (as series regular Comfort Jones); and for film, The Little Mermaid, Boxing Day, Summerland, and Fedz.

Suited, booted, and stuffed with American burgers and fries, Hugh walks out of a meeting and buys a mango on the street. To the bemusement of his high-flying wife Jean, Hugh becomes obsessed with the foods of his Trinidadian childhood and hires a cook, Elsa, to indulge his nostalgic passion. Mustapha Matura’s razor-sharp comedy is about identity, belonging and the cost of progress.

Following his performance in 2019’s Blood Knot and his OT playwriting debut Prodigal for Inside/Outside in 2021, Kalungi Ssebandeke returns to the OT as the winner of the prestigious 2023 JMK Award. The OT follows Mustapha Matura’s Play Mas in 2015 with the first major UK revival of Meetings: an atmospheric, entertaining, and poignant play set to capture the sights, sounds and smells of the Caribbean.

Directed by Kalungi Ssebandeke; designed by Olivia Jameson; lighting by Ali Hunter; sound designed by Jose Puello
Cast: Kevin N Golding (Hugh), Bethan Mary-James (Elsa), and Martina Laird (Jean)

NEED TO KNOW: Meetings plays at the Orange Tree Theatre until 11 Nov 2023 See listing #AfridiziakTheatreNews #OrangeTreeTheatre