'Slave Play' to make West End transfer, starring Kit Harington and Fisayo Akinade

Jeremy O. Harris's play will have two BLACK OUT nights during the run, which will see every seat in the theatre occupied by an all-Black-identifying audience.

Olivia Rook
Olivia Rook

The most Tony-nominated play of all time, Jeremy O. Harris's Slave Play, is set to make its West End transfer. The play will open at the Noël Coward Theatre on 29 June for a strictly limited season.

Directed by Robert O’Hara, this play about race, identity, and sexuality in 21st century America will feature an all-star cast including Fisayo Akinade (The Crucible, Heartstopper), Kit Harington (Game of Thrones, True West), Aaron Heffernan (Brassic, Atlanta), and Denzel Washington's daughter Olivia Washington (I Am Virgo, Breaking).

They are joined by James Cusati-Moyer (Six Degrees of Separation, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Chalia La Tour (The Good Fight, Elementary), Annie McNamara (Orange is the New Black, Iowa), and Irene Sofia Lucio (The Americans, Wit) who will reprise their roles from the original Broadway production.

Slave Play was originally staged in 2018 at New York Theatre Workshop before transferring to Broadway’s John Golden Theatre in 2019. The production received 12 nominations, breaking the record previously set by the revival of Angels in America to become the most Tony-nominated play of all time.

Playwright Jeremy O. Harris said: “This play has been a part of me for many years now. It was a play written for my friends, actors like myself, who felt underserved by the options available to them to explore the unspoken terrain of both American history and our collective unconscious in relation to those histories. It was a play written for my friends in grad school who were rarely given the chance to be centre stage. It was written thinking that the Iseman stage (my university’s black box theatre) would be its first and final home. Yet five years later we have been Off-Broadway, on Broadway, and all over America. And now London. Many of the people from the very first reading in my grad school flat have been with the play ever since and are returning to do it in London. It is one of the great honours and gifts of my life that it has made it here.

"I do not take it lightly that this play is one of the rare plays by a black author that has made its way to the West End. I’m incredibly grateful for the trails blazed by the myriad black British writers recently who have broken ground for black writers and audiences on the West End like Arinzé Kene, Kwame Kwei-Armah, Tyrell Williams, Ryan Calais Cameron, and Natasha Gordon. I hope that with this production even more work by writers of colour will find support on our largest commercial stages.”

Slave Play follows three interracial couples who have put themselves forward for a new and unique form of therapy: Antebellum Sexual Performance Therapy. This is because the black partners no longer feel sexual attraction to their white partners.

There will be two BLACK OUT nights on 17 July and 17 September, which is a concept developed by O. Harris during Slave Play's Broadway run in 2019. On these nights, every seat in the theatre will be occupied by an all-Black-identifying audience, allowing theatregoers to experience the show free from the white gaze.

The creative team includes design by Clint Ramos, costume by Dede Ayite, lighting by Jiyoun Chang, and composition and sound design by Lindsay Jones.

Book Slave Play tickets on London Theatre.

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Photo credit: Fisayo Akinade, Kit Harington, and Olivia Washington. (Photos courtesy of production)

Originally published on

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