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Thursday 12 Saturday 14 October 2023

An Octoroon

By Branden Jacob-Jenkins
Directed by Deborah Yhip

‘What you gonna do once you free? You just gonna walk up in somebody's house and be like, “Hey I am a slave, help me?”’

Winner of the Obie Award, twice runner up finalist for The Pulitzer Prize for Drama; Branden Jacob-Jenkins audacious darkly hilarious satire An Octoroon draws on the Dion Boucicault's 1859 melodrama The Octoroon as a starting point to explore importance of race, identity and representation.

The play within a play resolves around a story of a Louisiana slave plantation, Terrebone which is in financial ruins. Threatened with falling into the wrong hands unless George Peyton, heir apparent, returning from Europe marries rich heiress, Dora. But he has fallen in love with Zoe, an “octoroon” but can he save her from the clutches of ruthless, nasty M'Closky whom has other plans for and Terrebone?

Manchester School of Theatre are delighted to stage the regional premiere of An Octoroon. A huge hit at the Royal National Theatre and more recently The Abbey theatre, Dublin.

“A wildly imaginative new work” — Village Voice

“Bizarrely brilliant... a work that is infinitely playful and deeply serious which dazzling questions the nature of theatrical illusion...” — The Guardian

An Octoroon pushes the audience to confront unpleasant historical legacies – to think about the implications the past has for the present, to laugh and even enjoy themselves as they did so.

Content Warnings

The performance contains distressing historic violent racial imagery and racist language that viewers may find upsetting. Scenes contain racial stereotyping, racism, misogyny, assault, violence, blood and suicide.


Naytanael Israel — BJJ / George / M’Closky
Frank Wilson-Caines — Playwright / Whanotee / Lafouche
Elliot Parchment-Morrison — Assistant / Pete / Paul
Leigh Titshall — Zoe
Pippa Hinds — Dora
Florence Nomafo — Dido
Paryce Richards — Minnie
Anecia Warner — Grace
Lauren Corless — Br’er Rabbit / Ratts


Assistant Director: Reis Mendes
Lighting: Douglas Kuhrt
Design: Lara Booth
Sound Design: Garion Frith
MD: Juwon Ogungbe
Fight/Intimacy Director: Kaitlin Howard