Martina returns to Theatre Royal Stratford East following Shebeen in 2018.

Her stage credits include Shebeen (Nottingham Playhouse/Theatre Royal Stratford East); Shakespeare Trilogy (Donmar Warehouse); Moon on a Rainbow Shawl (National Theatre/Talawa Theatre Company). Her television credits include EastEnders, Blitz, Casualty, The Bay, Epiphany, Jericho, The Dumping Ground, London’s Burning, Shameless, The Bill and Peak Practice.

Laird returns to the stage as ‘Ruby‘ in August Wilson’s play King Hedley II. Directed by Stratford East Artistic Director Nadia Fall (The Village), King Hedley II follows one man’s quest for redemption after being released from prison and features Lenny Henry in his Stratford East debut as smooth-talking hustler ‘Elmore‘.

King Hedley II is set in 1985 and forms part of Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle, a series of plays that documents the African American experience in each decade of the 20th century. Other works in the Pittsburgh Cycle include Fences (adapted into a film starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis) and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Alongside Sir Lenny, Laird shares the stage with Aaron Pierre (Krypton) and Cherrelle Skeete (Fun Home, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child).
We caught up with her to find out more about Ruby and the importance of August Wilson’s work…


King Hedley II runs at the Royal Theatre Stratford East until Sunday 15th June 2019. Find out more and book tickets here.