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The Death of a Black Man
Hampstead Theatre, Swiss Cottage

Hampstead Theatre announces in-person spring 2021 season

The off-West End theatre will open for socially distanced performances from late May.

Photo credit: Sharon Hayes and Bo Poraj (Photos courtesy of Hampstead Theatre)

After performances of The Dumb Waiter were cancelled at Hampstead Theatre, the London venue will reopen its doors once more in 2021. Two new productions have been confirmed to run at the north London theatre, with performances from 28 May, with both shows staged with social distancing in place.

Hampstead Theatre’s artistic director and joint chief executive Roxana Silbert said: “I am delighted to announce these productions for many reasons. COVID makes planning a challenge. 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.”

Hampstead Theatre will open with a revival of Alfred Fagon’s The Death of a Black Man, which first played in 1975. Set in 1970s England, an 18-year-old Shakie feels like he’s struck gold. Everything is going well in his life, quickly moving in with friends. But, when ambition runs high, Shakie struggles to get rich beyond his wildest dreams.

Dawn Walton will direct Fagon’s play, starring Nickcolia King-N'da, Natalie Simpson and Toyin Omari-Kinch. The Death of a Black Man will begin previews on 28 May, with an official opening night on 3 June and performances to 10 July.

The world premiere of Deborah Bruce’s Raya will open Hampstead Downstairs, directed by Silbert. Raya sees two former lovers Alex and Jason reunite at a student event, but will the past 30 years get in the way of their feelings.

Claire Price will play Alex, previously starring in ITV series Rebus and Home Fires. Bo Poraj plays Jason, previously in Rasheeda Speaking at Trafalgar Studios, with Shannon Hayes as Alannah. Raya is at Hampstead Theatre from 11 June, with an opening night on 17 June and performances to 24 July.

Future productions at Hampstead Theatre are to be confirmed, but press material states works performed are written by Katie Mitchell, Marsha Norman, Mufaro Makubika, Tom Wells and Tennessee Williams.

Photo credit: Sharon Hayes and Bo Poraj (Photos courtesy of Hampstead Theatre)

Article Updated: 29 April 2021

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