Home » London Theatre News » Lenny Henry returns to the stage in August Wilson’s King Hedley II

Lenny Henry returns to the stage in August Wilson’s King Hedley II

Lenny Henry returns to the stage in August Wilson's King Hedley II
Lenny Henry returns to the stage in August Wilson’s King Hedley II

Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Stratford East, Nadia Fall, today announces Lenny Henry to take on the role of Elmore in August Wilson’s King Hedley II as part of her inaugural season. This marks the first time Wilson’s work will be staged at Theatre Royal Stratford East.

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 running 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.

Also going on sale today is the already announced co-production with English Touring Theatre of Peter Shaffer’s classic play Equus. Directed by Ned Bennett, the play opens on 21 February.

In addition, at every performance of every show over half of the tickets are priced under £25, with £10 tickets available for those aged under 26.

Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Stratford East, 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. Our co-production with English Touring Theatre of Peter Shaffer’s Equus also goes on sale today, re-imagined by the theatre maverick Ned Bennett, it’s sure to be the play as you’ve never seen it before. Young people have always been at the heart of Theatre Royal Stratford East and we hope that they and their families will enjoy Pilot Theatre’s production of Noughts and Crosses, from the celebrated novel by Malorie Blackman in a new adaptation by Sabrina Mahfouz. Our co-production with English National Opera of Benjamin Britten’s Noye’s Fludde, will see the brilliant Lyndsey Turner direct this joyous production, which combines the talents of professional artists alongside an army of local school children and community groups. It’s a brilliantly busy year ahead, designed to offer something for everyone.

Theatre Royal Stratford East present
KING HEDLEY II
By August Wilson
Directed by Nadia Fall
17 May – 16 June 2019
Press night: 23 May, 7pm

1980s Pittsburgh, a city in decay. Against the backdrop of Reagan’s America, King, an ex-con, is trying to rebuild his life and start a family. He’s got hopes and dreams of opening a video store and building a new life. If only he can get ten thousand dollars together, if only he can catch a break. In his dusty backyard he plots and plans with his friend Mister, but is this all a pipe dream?

Featuring Lenny Henry as smooth-talking hustler Elmore, August Wilson’s touching and angry, King Hedley II is a quest for redemption for one man and a whole community.

Lenny Henry has been a comedian since the age of 16. He has risen from being a cult star on children’s television to becoming one of Britain’s best-known comedians, as well as a writer, philanthropist and award-winning actor. In recent years he 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 Resitable Rise of Arturo Ui. He has also been a Trustee of the National Theatre since February 2016. His television credits include Broadchurch, The Syndicate and the biographic Danny and The Human Zoo. Henry’s Production Company, Douglas Road, has achieved success in partnership with Burning Bright on the recently acclaimed The Commonwealth Kid documentary. As a co-founder of Comic Relief he was delighted to announce this year that the British Public has donated over £1billion to Comic Relief over the last 30 years. He is a strong advocate for diversity, taking his work on the subject to Cannes in order to deliver the Keynote speech launching the idea of offering tax breaks for diversity, as well as talks given in Rome to the global TV and film insider audience. Henry was chosen by Baroness Doreen Lawrence to interview three beneficiaries of the Stephen Lawrence trust at his memorial in 2018.

Theatre Royal Stratford East and English Touring Theatre present

EQUUS
by Peter Shaffer
Directed by Ned Bennett
15 February – 23 March 2019
Press night: 21 February, 7pm

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