Clybourne Park Scoops Pulitzer Drama PrizeDate: 19 April 2011
Written in response to Lorraine Hansberry's 1959 Broadway play A Raisin in the Sun Norris's piece received its world premiere at New York's off-Broadway house Playwrights Horizons in February 2010 before playing a sell-out season at the Royal Court's Jerwood Theatre Downstairs from 2 September 2010 (previews from 26 August) to 2 October. It transferred to the West End on 8 February 2011 (previews from 28 January 2011) and scooped the Critics' Circle, South Bank and Laurence Olivier Awards for Best New Play.
Clybourne Park considers the development of attitudes towards race over time by juxtaposing the problems faced by Russ and Bev, a white couple selling their home to a black family in 1959, with the issues encountered by Lindsey and Steve, a couple trying to raze and rebuild the same house in 2009.
The West End cast includes Stephen Campbell Moore, who plays the role originated by Martin Freeman in the play’s premiere season. The company also includes Stuart McQuarrie and original cast members Lorna Brown, Sarah Goldberg, Michael Goldsmith, Lucian Msamati, Sam Spruell and Sophie Thompson.
The play was one of three finalists for the drama Pulitzer, which were founded in 1917 named after newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer and are awarded for excellence in 21 categories across journalism and the arts. The other plays in contention were Lisa D'Amour's Detroit and A Free Man of Color by John Guare.
The production reunites Norris with Dominic Cooke, who launched his reign as artistic director of the Royal Court in 2007 with the UK premiere of another Norris satire, The Pain and the Itch. His other works include The Infidel and A Parallelogram which both premiered at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre.
Clybourne Park is designed by Robert Innes Hopkins, with lighting by Paule Constable and sound by David McSeveney. It’s produced in the West End by Royal Court Theatre Productions with Sonia Friedman Productions and Old Vic Productions.