Ingrid Hu

We Need New Names

by NoViolet Bulawayo, in a new adaptation by Mufaro Makubika

Brixton House Theatre

Director – Monique Touko

Scenographer – Ingrid Hu

Lighting Designer – Adam King

Composer – Tendai Humphrey Sitima

Sound Design – Ed Lewis

Movement Director – Ricardo Da Silva

Dramaturgy – Nic Wass and Anna Himali Howard

Creative Associates – Zodwa Nyoni, Laura Ford and Angharad Jones

Casting – Lucy Jenkins and Sooki McShane CDG


Munashe Chirisa

Anashe Danai

Lukwesa Mwamba

Kalungi Ssebandeke

Princess KhumaloTatenda Mademombe

Photography by Robert Day

Paradise. Home of 10-year-old Darling and her friends: four children on the edge of innocence. A playground overflowing with mischief and games where they imagine countries a luxurious life away from theirs in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe.

But when Darling moves to Michigan, the western world she encounters as a teenager is far from the American utopia of her dreams…

Based on the novel by the first Black African woman and first Zimbabwean to be Booker Prize-shortlisted, this defiant coming-of-age story is full of exuberance, humour and humanity.

Presented by Fifth Word and New Perspectives, in association with Brixton House.



★ ★ ★ ★ ★  “Humorous and horrifying in equal measure, the show was a thoroughly engaging experience from start to finish” – LondonTheatre1

★ ★ ★ ★ “Entrancing” – The Guardian

““Mufaro Makubika’s smart dramatisation … The clarity of the storytelling enables the six actors in Monique Touko’s supple production to fluently switch race, age and gender””

– The Guardian

“Ingrid Hu’s set mirrors the play’s sense of adventure. It is a playground of black boxes of varying sizes that are moved about on wheels, becoming a road to run along, a tree to lean against or a table from which food is cooked and served. Some have concealed doors, from which emerge props and costume to aid the storytelling. The black floor underfoot is marked with a circle of white handprints – you can imagine the children creating the art as part of one of their games. But it is also a metaphor for the history of Zimbabwe: white hands all over Black land.” – The Stage

“A clever use of costume, designed by Ingrid Hu, is used to illustrate Darling’s removal from the culture she grew up in. We see her in Zimbabwe in her best dress, yellow and frilled, reflective of the “sunshine in the darkness” she is referred to as. As she spends her first few years in America, we see her in a shorter, less frilly yellow dress, and by the time she is an American teenager in college, all that remains is a yellow top, teamed with denim and a varsity jacket. Still holding on to part of her heritage, but becoming more and more American.” – All That Dazzles