Katori Hall’s Our Lady of Kibeho to premiere at Royal & Derngate Theatre

Northampton’s Royal & Derngate Theatre will be staging the UK premiere of Katori Hall’s Our Lady of Kibeho, this January, directed by its artistic director, James Dacre.

In 1981, at Kibeho College in Rwanda, a young girl claimed she saw a vision of the Virgin Mary who warned her of the unimaginable: her country becoming hell on earth.

She was ignored by her friends, and scolded by her school, but then another student saw the vision, and another, and the impossible appeared to be true.

Katori Hall’s Our Lady of Kibeho presents a haunting insight into the true events that captured the world’s attention.

A vibrantly theatrical meditation on faith and everyday miracles, it was hailed “the most important play of the year” when it premiered in New York in 2014.

This UK production promises epic storytelling, with a large professional cast complemented by the Royal & Derngate Community Ensemble and members of the theatre’s Young Company.

Katori Hall’s plays include Hoodoo Love, Pussy Valley and Hurt Village, which won the Susan Smith Blackburn Award and is currently in development as a feature film.

Hall recently wrote the book for Tina – The Tina Turner the Musical, which is currently playing in the West End.

Katori Hall said: “I’m beyond ecstatic to work with James again and to bring Our Lady of Kibeho to the UK for the first time.

“In these turbulent times, I hope this piece will spark a dialogue within Royal & Derngate’s surrounding community and beyond about healing cultural, political and racial divides.”

James Dacre previously premiered Hall’s The Mountaintop, which won the Olivier Award for Best New Play in 2010, saw its cast of Lorraine Burroughs and David Harewood nominated for Olivier and Evening Standard awards, and has gone on to become one of the most produced plays in America this decade.

Our Lady of Kibeho takes to the Royal stage from January 12 to February 2.

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