Elizabeth Berrington and Tanya Moodie star in the UK premiere of Joel Drake Johnson’s tense workplace drama Rasheeda Speaking. Directed by Jonathan O’Boyle, the production runs at the West End’s Trafalgar Studios 2 from 18 April to 12 May 2018, with a press night on 20 April.
In one of Chicago’s wealthiest hospitals, a white doctor tries to remove a black receptionist by enlisting her colleague as a spy. The women’s friendship quickly deteriorates, and a chilling power struggle ensues. With the office becoming a battleground of passive aggression and paranoia, things spin wildly out of control.
Joel Drake Johnson’s incendiary and timely new play examines underlying racism in the workplace, white guilt and the manipulation of women by men in power. Rasheeda Speaking is a shocking dark comedy that keeps the audience in its claustrophobic grip until the final moment, proving that nothing in Middle America is ever truly black or white.
Rasheeda Speaking was originally produced by Chicago’s Rivendell Theatre, was nominated for Best Play by the Jefferson Committee, and then opened in New York City at The Signature Theatre as part of The New Group’s 2014-15 season. Under the direction of Tony and Emmy Award Winner, Cynthia Nixon, it featured two-time Oscar Winner, Dianne Wiest and Tony Award Winner, Tonya Pinkins. Rasheeda Speaking was subsequently nominated for Best New Off-Broadway Play by the Outer Critics Circle and ﬁlmed by WNET New York/East Coast. This production marks the plays UK première.
The UK premiere is presented by Troupe Theatre, whose other recent hits include last year’s The Cardinal and JM Barrie’s Dear Brutus, the latter also directed by Jonathan O’Boyle.
Rasheeda Speaking runs from 18 April to 12 May 2018 at London’s Trafalgar Studios 2, 14 Whitehall, London SW1A 3DY. Performances are Mondays to Saturdays at 7.45pm, with Thursday and Saturday matinees at 3pm. Tickets are priced £15-35. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!
Joel Drake Johnson is an award-winning, internationally produced playwright who began his career at Chicago’s critically acclaimed Econo-Art Theater. His other plays include Four Places, ﬁrst produced at Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theater. It was subsequently produced in Los Angeles by The Rogue Machine Theatre, featuring Tony nominee, Roxanne Hart. Other works include A Blue Moon (Chicago Dramatists Theatre and Woodstock, New York City), As the Beaver (Zebra Crossing), The End of the Tour (Victory Gardens Theater, Chicago) and The Fall to Earth (Steppenwolf Theatre/ Penguin Rep / 59E59 Theaters and The Odyssey Theatre) and The First Grade, A Blameless Life, Tranquillity Woods (Steppenwolf Theatre).
Elizabeth Berrington plays Ileen Van Meter. For theatre her work includes Who Cares (Royal Court Theatre), Holes (Arcola Theatre), The Low Road (English Touring Theatre and Royal Court Theatre), Absent Friends (The Old Vic), Abigail’s Party (Hampstead Theatre and New Ambassadors Theatre), An Ideal Husband (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester), Rupert Street Lonely Hearts Club (English Touring Theatre, Donmar Warehouse and Criterion Theatre) and The Country Wife (Sheffield Crucible). For television her credits include Stella, Little Boy Blue, The Tracey Ullman Show, Black Mirror: Hated in the Nation, The Living and the Dead, The Syndicate, Pramface, Stage Door Johnnies, The Office, Trying Again, Waterloo Road, Psychoville, Moving Wallpaper, May Contain Nuts, The Grimleys and The Lakes; and for film, National Civil War Centre Film Series, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, Mr Turner, Hard Boiled Sweets, In Bruges, Scoop, Nanny McPhee, Spivs, Quills, 8 ½ Women, Urban Ghost Story, Naked and Secrets and Lies.
Tanya Moodie plays Jaclyn Spaulding. For theatre her work includes Trouble in Mind (The Print Room), Hamlet (RSC), The House That Will Not Stand (nominated for an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliated Theatre) and The Piano Lesson (both Tricycle Theatre), Intimate Apparel (nominated for an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliated Theatre and an Evening Standard Award for Best Actress / Ustinov Studio, Bath), Fences (Duchess Theatre), Catch, ACDC, Fewer Emergencies and Incomplete and Random Acts of Kindness (Royal Court Theatre), The Overwhelming, The Darker Face of the Earth and The Oedipus Plays (National Theatre), 66 Books (Bush Theatre) and The Suit (Young Vic). For television her credits include Sherlock, Dicte: Crime Reporter, Common, The Body Farm, The Clinic, Sea of Souls, Richard Is My Boyfriend, Archangel, Shane, Absolute Power, In Deep, Boyz Unlimited, Neverwhere and So Haunt Me and the upcoming A Discovery of Witches; and for film, Legacy, Rabbit Fever, The Tulse Luper Suitcases and The Final Passage.
Director Jonathan O’Boyle’s work includes Dear Brutus (Southwark Playhouse), Pippin (Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester and Southwark Playhouse), Hair (Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester and The Vaults), Four Play (nominated for an Off West End Award for Best Director), Sense of an Ending and Water Under the Board (Theatre503), The Surplus and All the Ways to Say Goodbye (Young Vic), Bash: Latterday Plays (Old Red Lion Theatre and Trafalgar Studios). Work as Resident Director includes An American in Paris (Dominion Theatre). Work as Associate Director includes This House (Chichester Festival Theatre, Garrick Theatre and UK tour), Mack and Mabel and Amadeus (Chichester Festival Theatre), This is My Family (Sheffield Crucible and UK tour), The Scottsboro Boys (Young Vic), My Fair Lady and The Village Bike (Sheffield Crucible) and Manon (Royal Opera House).