Lenny Henry is to take on the role of smooth-talking hustler Elmore in August Wilson’s King Hedley II (17 May to 16 June 2019) as part of Nadia Fall’s inaugural season as artistic director of Theatre Royal Stratford East. This marks the first time Wilson’s work will be staged at the venue.
In recent years Henry has starred in The Comedy of Errors at the National Theatre, Fences at the Duchess Theatre, and in 2017 he made his Donmar Warehouse debut in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. His television credits include Broadchurch, The Syndicate and the biographic Danny and The Human Zoo.
In April 2019, Theatre Royal Stratford East presents a Derby Theatre and Pilot Theatre co-production of Malorie Blackman’s novel Noughts and Crosses. Adapted by Sabrina Mahfouz and directed by Esther Richardson, the production opens at Stratford East on 24 April and runs until 5 May.
The season concludes with a Theatre Royal Stratford East and ENO co-production of Benjamin Britten’s masterpiece Noye’s Fludde. Lyndsey Turner directs a new production which combines the talents of professional singers, actors and musicians with those of school children and the local community. The production opens on 3 July, with previews from 1 July and runs until 13 July.
Artistic Nadia Fall, said today:
“There’s just so much to get excited about as our 2019 shows go on sale today. I’m thrilled that Lenny Henry will be appearing at Theatre Royal Stratford East in August Wilson’s ferocious and timely play King Hedley II. Taking on the role of Elmore, this will be the first time that Lenny Henry has appeared on our stage and also the first time that the great August Wilson’s work has been performed here.”
Season highlights include:
15 February to 23 March 2019 (press night is 21 February)
A co-production with Theatre Royal Stratford East and English Touring Theatre, Peter Shaffer’s play will be directed by Ned Bennett.
Noughts and Crosses
24 April to 5 May 2019 (press night is 24 April)
Malorie Blackman’s play will be presented in co-production between Derby Theatre and Pilot Theatre, co-produced by Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Mercury Theatre Colchester and York Theatre Royal. The piece will be adapted by Sabrina Mahfouz and directed by Esther Richardson.
King Hedley II
17 May to 16 June 2019 (press night is 23 May)
August Wilson’s play, located in 1980s Pittsburgh – a city in decay – will be directed by Nadia Fall.
1 July to 13 July 2019 (press night is 3 July)
Theatre Royal Stratford East and English National Opera present Benjamin Britten’s masterpiece, directed by Lyndsey Turner.