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Smash-hit show Nina – A Story About Me and Nina Simone comes to Keswick

Josette Bushell-Mingo and band. Photography by Simon Annand

[T]heatre by the Lake is to present the hugely acclaimed show Nina – A Story About Me and Nina Simone which is currently touring the UK.

A one woman tour-de-force, the show features Josette Bushell-Mingo and takes place in the theatre’s Main House from 27 February to 3 March. TBTL is also delighted to announce Josette as an Associate Artist of the theatre.

A searing and soulful theatre piece inspired by the life and music of Nina Simone, Nina – A Story About Me and Nina Simone explores the singer’s political acts as part of the Civil Rights Movement in 1960s America as well as the struggles in Nina’s personal life. Interweaving stories from her own experience growing up in London’s East End, Josette Bushell-Mingo finds a parallel with the persisting inequality in today’s society, and questions how far we’ve really come.

Versions of some of Nina Simone’s best-loved songs are given new life in an astonishing performance from Olivier-nominated Bushell-Mingo, backed by an incredible band; it’s no wonder she’s received such praise as ‘Bushell-Mingo blows the roof off’ (TimeOut) and ‘With a performance like Bushell-Mingo’s, you really feel you are lucky to be in the room’ (BroadwayBaby). For lovers of Simone’s music, Bushell-Mingo’s performance is a must-see; for anyone yet to discover her yet, they have a treat in store.

Originally performed at the Unity Theatre, Liverpool, in 2016, Nina – A Story About Me and Nina Simone toured Sweden in 2017 before its London premiere at the Young Vic in July 2017 where it won rave reviews from the national press. Having sold out the Traverse Theatre as part of the 2017 Edinburgh Festival it is now on a national tour of the UK.

Bushell-Mingo said: “This show is a fierce, uncompromising dialogue about love, forgiveness, black-ness and fighting back. It’s a story woven within Nina’s extraordinary songs, shadows of her life and my own life too. You will see three extraordinary musicians, you will experience joy and humour, and you can expect great concert and theatre experience that will be both complex and simple.”

“I am delighted to be coming to Keswick with Nina; Theatre by the Lake has long been in my orbit and it’s a privilege to be performing there. Obviously the surroundings are amazing but what I’m really interested in are the audiences and the people that come. I think the piece will be a provocation and a challenge, but I think the audience is up for contemporary challenges and that’s another reason I’m excited to be an Associate Artist. The theatre is inviting new voices into its spaces and looking ahead to the next 50 years, and I’m excited to be part of this.”

As an Associate Artist of Theatre by the Lake, Bushell-Mingo will be making work with and for the theatre, and will act as a sounding board and creative advisor.

Conrad Lynch, Artistic Director of Theatre by the Lake said: “We are really happy and excited to be working with Josette as an Associate Artist of TBTL, and what better way to begin this relationship than to welcome her and this astounding piece of theatre to Keswick.”

Powerful, provocative, and utterly memorable, this compelling combination of hard-hitting narrative with fabulous music plays in TBTL’s Main House from 27 February to 3 March. Tickets are from £10 to £25; to book call the Box Office on 017687 74411 or book online at

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