Longlisted for the prestigious Papatango Prize and the Radius Playwrighting Prize in 2020, Bren Gosling’s powerful new drama Proud will debut next month at New Wimbledon Theatre Studio as part of the ATG Premiere Season. The play sheds light on the traumatic impact of racism, homophobia and displacement.
The prolific Bren Gosling returns to the New Wimbledon Theatre Studio, after his critically acclaimed production Invisible Me earlier this month. Proud will be directed by Marlie Haco (Lovesick, Hope Theatre; Words Without Consent, Southwark Playhouse) and tells a moving story of conflict and connection and runs from 29 October to 5 November 2021, with a press night on 1 November.
After his Pentecostal mother dies, Roland– black and 40 years old – is liberated to live openly as a gay man. He relocates from Brixton to E17, where he unexpectedly falls for Amir, a 21-year-old refugee with a war-torn past. Their magnetic connection is tested, however, by Amir’s PTSD, his inability to identify as gay and Roland’s strained relationship with his 15-year-old son, Gary.
What binds these three characters together is the desire to know and understand one another as they struggle to come to terms with their own identities.
Proud will star Roger Ajogbe (The Internship, AC Studios; Unknown (To You), Jacob Banks|Interscope), Kiren Kebaili- Dwyer (Toussaint L’Ouverture, BBC) and Levi Goldmeier, who will be making his professional debut.
Director Marlie Haco said:
“Proud has been a long time in the making, but this version of the play now feels more relevant than ever, providing a glimpse into the emotional lives of those oppressed by the forces of war, white supremacy, and homophobia.
“In directing Proud, I hope to reveal both the light and dark of the protagonists’ experience – the joy to be found in relationships, alongside the pain carried within. For me, this is a story of how the desire for connection can overcome the debilitating effects of our past and stir us to uncover hidden parts of the other.”
Praise for Bren Gosling‘s last play Invisible Me:
“A trio of talent… powerful theatre with an optimistic look on life.”
“gentle comedy, moments that reflect our own lives.”
Broadway World UK
“An evening go laughter, appreciation and entertainment”
London Theatre Reviews
About Backstory Ensemble
Led by writer and producer Bren Gosling, Backstory Ensemble is a relatively new theatre company. Their first staged production Invisible Me played at the New Wimbledon Theatre Studio 3 to 11 September 2021.
During the Coronavirus lockdown, Bren’s debut play Moment of Grace — about Princess Diana’s landmark visit to Britain’s first AIDS unit — won an OnComm commendation and the No: Intermission One Act Play Competition.