The world premiere production of Lolita Chakrabarti’s Hymn, originally due to play to socially distanced audiences at London’s Almeida Theatre, will now be streamed live from the theatre for five performances from 17-20 February 2021 (press performance is 18 February). Directed by Blanche McIntyre, the play features Adrian Lester in the role of Gil and Danny Sapani as Benny.
Almeida artistic director Rupert Goold said:
“After being forced to cancel the run of Hymn, we’re so pleased to have still found a way to offer the show to audiences and are hugely grateful to the whole company for making it possible. We hope that with the actors performing the play live each night, people watching at home will sense some of that joyful energy that comes from being part of a unique shared experience.”
Featuring music from Gil and Benny’s lives, Chakrabarti’s searching, soulful new play asks what it takes to be a good father, brother or son.
‘Two men meet at a funeral. Gil knew the deceased. Benny did not. Before long their families are close. Soon they’ll be singing the same tune.’
Benny is a loner anchored by his wife and children. Gil longs to fulfil his potential. They form a deep bond but as cracks appear in their fragile lives they start to realise that true courage comes in different forms.
Joining director Blanche McIntyre (The Writer) in the creative team are set and costume designer Miriam Buether, lighting designer Prema Mehta, sound designer Gregory Clarke, musical director D.J. Walde and movement director Robia Milliner
Adrian Lester plays Gil. His theatre work includes Cost of Living (Hampstead Theatre); Othello (National Theatre); Red Velvet (Tricycle Theatre, West End and New York); Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (West End); Henry V; Sweeney Todd (National Theatre); Hamlet (Theatres des Bouffes du Nord); Company (Donmar Warehouse); As You Like It (Cheek By Jowl) and Six Degrees of Separation (Royal Court). For television, his work includes Life; The Rook; Curfew; Trauma; Riviera; Undercover; London Spy and Hustle. His film work includes Mary Queen of Scots; Grey Lady; Euphoria, Jimi: All Is by My Side; The Day After Tomorrow and Primary Colors. Directing work includes Of Mary (Winner of Best Short Film at PAFF); Hustle and Riviera on television and The Greatest Wealth (The Old Vic) and the forthcoming Calmer (Birmingham Rep). He was recently made a CBE.
Danny Sapani plays Benny. He previously appeared at the Almeida in Big White Fog. His other theatre credits include Invisible Cities (Manchester International Festival); Les Blancs, Medea, Home, Moon on a Rainbow Shawl, The Overwhelming, His Dark Materials, Antony and Cleopatra, The Machine Wreckers and Richard II (National Theatre); Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (Young Vic); Anderson’s English (Out of Joint); Wig Out and Neverland (Royal Court); The Green Fields Beyond (Donmar Warehouse) and Julius Caesar (Shakespeare’s Globe); For television, his work includes Halo; Killing Eve; Harlots; Mother Father Son; Black Earth Rising; Traitors; Broken; The Crown; Chewing Gum; Bastard Executioner; Penny Dreadful; The Fear; The Town; Blackout and Misfits. His recent film credits include Black Panther and Trance.