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Cheeky Little Brown

Cheeky Little Brown. Photo © Craig Fuller.

Cheeky Little Brown by Papatango Prize-winning playwright Nkenna Akunna, playing at the Belgrade Theatre 24 – 28 October 2023.


Cheeky Little Brown – produced by Tiata Fahodzi and Bristol Old Vic in association with the Belgrade Theatre – will come to Coventry from 24 - 28 October 2023 with a press performance at the Belgrade on Weds 25 October at 7.45pm.

How do you break up with your best friend? “When you’ve known someone basically your whole life, Since you were five, And you know all the same people, And everyone you know knows you as one special Thing, Sister-friends.”

This solo show – described as “infectiously likeable” by The Stage, 4* - stars Tiajna Amayo as ‘Lady’ (Orange Tree Theatre, Unicorn Theatre, Polka) and follows her story on a failed night out. Part drama, part musical with a playlist of original and familiar songs, Cheeky Little Brown is a deep and sometimes surreal exploration of friendship, first queer heartbreak, and self-acceptance.

Cheeky Little Brown continues Tiata Fahodzi’s 25th anniversary commitment to investing in the future of African heritage artists and giving voice to their contemporary world. The production marks British Nigerian playwright Akunna’s first play to be staged as a fully realised production.

Tiajna Amayo as ‘Lady’. Photo © Craig Fuller.

Cheeky Little Brown is directed by Chinonyerem Odimba, with set and costume design by Aldo Vazquez, lighting design by Jodie Underwood, sound design by Esther Kehinde Ajayi. Musical Arrangement and Production is by Rafay Rashid and Dennis Ryan. Shaelee Rooke is freelance producer, with casting by Heather Basten CDG.

Writer and also the composer of the show’s original music Nkenna Akunna said: “Cheeky Little Brown is an ode to your early twenties, a second coming of age, an aesthetically pleasing panic attack. It’s a story about a young woman’s resistance to change in the people and the city she calls home, and ultimately her journey toward a new beginning.”

Director Chinonyerem Odimba adds: “This beautiful contemporary anti-romcom by Nkenna Akunna brings story and song together in this intimate drama centred around Lady’s life, and how she will survive confronting love and life at a birthday party. How we celebrate the moments of growing into ourselves no matter how painful and funny. This feels like a Tiata Fahodzi play in its truest sense, and a joy to open our season with. We are also very lucky to be working with exciting theatres such as the Belgrade and Bristol Old Vic on this.”

Solo show with Tiajna Amayo. Photo © Craig Fuller.

The Belgrade’s CEO Laura Elliot and Creative Director, Corey Campbell said: “We’re thrilled to be co-producing Cheeky Little Brown with Tiata Fahodzi and Bristol Old Vic. It’s a brilliant new script, with a heartfelt story by Nkenna Akunna, and we are delighted to work with Chinonyerem Odimba again, following our co-production Black Love.”

To book tickets and to watch a trailer:


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