ALFRED FAGON’S DARKLY COMPELLING DRAMA, THE DEATH OF A BLACK MAN WILL RUN FROM 28 MAY – 10 JULY 2021 ON THE MAIN STAGE.

With its witty and complex characters, Dawn Walton former Artistic Director of Eclipse Theatre Company, directs this rare revival from the Black British playwright canon, making her Hampstead directorial debut.

The Death of a Black Man originally premiered at the theatre in 1975. 46 years on, this rare revival from the Black British playwriting canon raises many of the same questions we face today surrounding identity, capitalism and sexual politics.

Fagon was one of the first British black writers to have his work produced in the UK and a hugely influential playwright. He arrived in Nottingham from Jamaica, joined the army and was also a boxing champion and a welder, before becoming a very successful actor, poet and playwright. He died at the early age of 49 (1986) and was controversially buried in a pauper’s grave when police claimed they could not identify him. The Alfred Fagon Award is the leading theatre award for black British writers, set up after his sudden death in 1986, which has supported unique voices within the UK theatre industry.

Roxana Silbert, Artistic Director and Joint Chief Executive of Hampstead Theatre said: “I am delighted to announce these productions for many reasons. I’m excited to share Alfred Fagon’s powerful, brilliant play with audiences, look forward with tremendous anticipation to Dawn Walton’s production in her Hampstead debut… COVID makes planning a challenge. However, if all goes well, our autumn season is overflowing with remarkable established and new artists… We are desperate to get going again and, in doing so, support our wonderful freelance colleagues to do what they do best: make live theatre. It’s been a year since we shut our doors and we are ready to switch on the lights and welcome everyone back in.”

Dawn Walton, Director of The Death of a Black Man said: “I am so looking forward to making my directorial debut at Hampstead Theatre with this fascinating, complex play. Alfred Fagon is a name so many of us are familiar with due to the legacy of the Alfred Fagon Award and yet people rarely get the chance to see his work. The Death of a Black Man is an opportunity to see why this playwright was such a trailblazing artist of his generation.

The Death of a Black Man will be Dawn Walton’s directorial debut at Hampstead Theatre. Her most recent productions include The Gift (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Red Dust Road (National Theatre of Scotland) and Black Men Walking (Royal Court). She will be joined by designer Simon Kenny, lighting designer Jo Town, sound designer Richard Hammarton and composer Duramaney Kamara.

Further details about casting to be announced.


The Death Of A Black Man will run from 28 May – 10 July at Hampstead Theatre on the main stage. Find out more here.