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Openings - July 2009 - Oxford

Harewood Moves Martin Luther King Mountaintop

By • West End
As previously tipped (See The Goss, 3 Jul 2009), David Harewood will bring his acclaimed performance as Martin Luther King in The Mountaintop to the West End this month, opening at Trafalgar Studios 1 for seven weeks only from 20 July to 5 September 2009 (previews from 16 July).

The world premiere production of Katori Hall’s new two-hander transfers almost immediately following its sell-out month-long run at the fringe new writing venue, Theatre503 in south London, where it finished this past Saturday (4 July).

A reimagining of the final hours in the life of the civil rights leader, The Mountaintop is set on 3 April 1968, the night before his assassination, in room 306 of Memphis’ Lorraine Motel to which Martin Luther King has retired after giving his famous “I have been to the mountaintop” speech to a massive church congregation. When room service is delivered by a mysterious young woman, King is forced to confront his past, as well as his legacy to his people.

Harewood is best known to theatregoers for his leading Shakespearean credits for the RSC, National and elsewhere while his many screen credits include the film Blood Diamond. Later this year on television, he will play another legendary political leader, Nelson Mandela, in the BBC drama Mrs Mandela opposite Sophie Okonedo in the title role. In The Mountaintop, Harewood is joined by Lorraine Burroughs as Camae.

American author Katori Hall is a child of the post-civil rights era, who grew up in Memphis and recently graduated from the Juilliard School playwriting programme in New York, where she received the 2009-2010 PONY (Playwrights of New York) Fellowship, one of America’s most significant playwriting prizes.

The Mountaintop is directed by James Dacre (son of Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre). The transfer, the first major West End offering from the Theatre503 stable, is presented by Sonia Friedman Productions and Jean Doumanian, Tali Pelman for Ambassador Theatre Group, Bob Bartner and Marla Rubin Productions Ltd.

** DON’T MISS our planned Whatsonstage.com Outing to the West End transfer of THE MOUNTAINTOP in early August – including an EXCLUSIVE post-show Q&A!! – This event will be announced within the next few days, with advance, discounted booking available only to members of the Whatsonstage.com Theatre Club. To ensure you don’t miss out, join the Club now! **


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