Theatre highlights this February include Shifters at Bush Theatre
You can also catch Othello directed by Ola Ince and For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy written and directed by Ryan Calais Cameron
Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. Adapted by Lemn Sissay OBE. Directed by Scott Graham.
One morning Gregor Samsa awakes to find himself changed. To those around him he is dangerous, untouchable vermin. Worse than that, he is a burden.
A word said, an action out of place, the opening of old wounds, none of which can be undone. Until now Gregor has woken every morning, quietly left to take the same train, and worked to pay off the family debt. But that world explodes on this morning of brutal metamorphosis.
Metamorphosis runs at Lyric Hammersmith from Thursday 1st February – Saturday 2nd March
Othello directed by Ola Ince
Celebrated by many, Othello has risen through the ranks. But can his hard-won reputation, his marriage to Desdemona, and his own subconscious survive the toxic systems that surround him?
Sixteenth-century Venice becomes modern-day London, as Othello grapples with many of the same issues that successful Black people have faced for centuries.
This is an Othello for our times.
Othello runs at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre’s Sam Wanamaker Playhouse from Tuesday 6th February – Saturday 13th April
King Lear starring Danny Sapani
We all must face the moment of truth that we won’t live forever.
Lear, father and king of unquestioned power, must divide his realm between his three daughters. The first two quickly declare the love he is desperate to hear, yet his favourite Cordelia shuns the performative circus. “Nothing” she answers, when asked to speak. And towards that nothing Lear’s world begins to slide.
As the new generation unleashes the consequences of their father’s choices, Lear takes us into the eye of the storm and its trail of destruction.
King Lear runs at Almeida Theatre from Thursday 8th February – Saturday 30th March
Standing at the Sky’s Edge starring Sharlene Hector
A love letter to Sheffield, charting the hopes and dreams of three generations over the course of six tumultuous decades, navigating universal themes of love, loss and survival.
Standing at the Sky’s Edge runs at The National Theatre from Thursday 8th February – Saturday 3rd August
Samuel Takes A Break by Rhianna Ilube
It is the Year of Return, 2019.
Samuel is our tour guide. It’s his job to give tourists a really really authentic experience of the castle’s dark history, and to do it all with a smile. Good ol’ Samuel!
Orange is a ticket officer. She thinks Samuel needs to get a goddamn life. There has to be more to him beyond these castle walls.
A story about Samuel, Orange and their attempts to preserve the past.
Samuel Takes A Break runs at The Yard Theatre from Friday 9th February – Saturday 9th march
Black Is The Color Of My Voice written and performed by Apphia Campbell
Inspired by the life of Nina Simone, and featuring many of her most iconic songs performed live.
Apphia Campbell’s acclaimed play follows a successful singer and civil rights activist as she seeks redemption after the untimely death of her father. She reflects on the journey that took her from a young piano prodigy destined for a life in the service of the church, to a renowned jazz vocalist at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement.
Black Is The Color Of My Voice runs at Bristol Old Vc from Monday 12th – Saturday 17th February
The Big Life – The Ska Musical book by Paul Sirett and Tameka Empson. Directed by Tinuke Craig.
It’s 1948 and on board the Windrush Empire, journeying over from the West Indies to England, Ferdy, Bernie, Dennis and Lennie are full of expectations and aspirations.
Eager to make successes of themselves, they are optimistic about what the future holds, plus Dennis is certain that showing his brother’s posthumous medal from World War II will mean he is welcomed heartily. Building this new life will take focus and sacrifice, and the young men make the bold decision to forswear wine and women for three whole years and devote themselves to their future in London.
Sybil, Mary, Zulieka and Kathy have other ideas. They know that man cannot live by bread alone! So each one’s resolve is put to the test as the reality of life in a less-than-welcoming England, not to mention the weather, makes forgoing the warmth of female company hard to resist. Will the men stick with their idea of The Big Life, or will Cupid have the final say?
The Big Life runs at Royal Stratford East Friday 16th February – Saturday 30th March
Shifters by Benedict Lombe
Des and Dre. Destiny and Dream. Young. Gifted. Black. She left. He stayed.
Now, tragedy brings Des and Dre crashing back into each other’s lives, carrying new secrets and old scars. Caught in the space between memory and reality, they must struggle to navigate the shifting borders that threaten to rewrite their past and reshape their future.Starring Tosin Cole & Heather Agyepong.
Shifters – runs at Bush Theatre Friday 16th February – Saturday 30th March
For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy written and directed by Ryan Calais Cameron
‘I found a king in me and now I love you
I found a king in you and now I love me’
Father figures and fashion tips. Lost loves and jollof rice. African empires and illicit sex. Good days and bad days. Six young Black men meet for group therapy, and let their hearts – and imaginations – run wild.
For Black Boys … runs at the Garrick Theatre from Thursday 29th February – Saturday 4th May
The Lonely Londoners by Sam Selvon. Adapted by Roy Williams. Directed by Ebenezer Bamgboye
London, 1956. Newly arrived from Trinidad, Henry ‘Sir Galahad’ Oliver is impatient to start his new life in London. Carrying just pyjamas and a toothbrush, he bursts through Moses Aloetta’s door only to find Moses and his friends already soured on city life. Will the London fog dampen Galahad’s dreams? Or will these Lonely Londoners make a home in a city that sees them as a threat?
The Lonely Londoners runs at Jermyn Street Theatre from Thursday 29th February – Saturday 6th April