Something Dark tells the true story of Lemn Sissay who as a baby was given up by his Ethiopian mother in the 1960s. He was renamed Norman Greenwood and nicknamed Chalky White throughout his turbulent childhood in care, only to find out his real name at the age of 18.

No longer the possession of the social services, he left the brutal suburbs of Lancashire for the bright lights of Manchester where he became a celebrated performance poet.

Aged 21 Lemn left for Gambia in search of his mother and the truth about his father.


Lemn Sissay will be performing this monologue on Saturday night at the Festival, in the intimate Strategem Studio at Ulumbarra. He is an extraordinary performer and the story is powerful. Earlier this year, after many years, Lemn finally won his case against the local council in the UK which had refused to acknowledge his neglect and mistreatment as a child of the state.