"Everything old is new again" seems to be one of the mottos of Rufus Norris's current NT repertoire programming that includes revisits of plays seen in the last few decades at other theatres like the Almeida (Waste), the RSC (The Suicide) and the Royal Court (Cleansed), and now a play that the NT itself previously provided the UK premiere to in 1989, August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom,... Read more
Cast includes Sharon D Clarke (Ma Rainey), Clint Dyer, O-T Fagbenle, Tunji Lucas, Lucian Msamati, Giles Terera Chicago, 1927. In a recording studio on the city’s South Side, a battle of wills is raging. Ma Rainey, Mother of the Blues, uses every trick in the book to fight her record producers for control of her music. Hardened by years of ill-treatment and bad deals, she’s determined that ‘Black Bottom’, the song that bears her name, will be recorded her way. But Levee, the band’s swaggering young trumpet player, plans to catapult the band into the jazz age. His ambition puts them all in danger. Inspired by the real-life Blues legend and infused with her music.