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.
Sophie Thompson, who won a Whatsonstage.com Award for Best Supporting Actress for her last West End appearance in 2008’s The Female of the Species, will reprise her performance as Bev/Kathy in the West End. Other members of the cast accompanying the production are Lorna Brown, Sarah Goldberg, Michael Goldsmith, Lucian Msamati and Sam Spruell.
Clybourne Park premiered on 2 September 2010 (previews from 26 August) at the Royal Court, where it continues until 2 October. Norris, an American playwright, began writing the biting social commentary four years ago, influenced by reactions to the election of Barack Obama as well as by Lorraine Hansberry’s modern classic A Raisin in the Sun, a traditional American school set-text.
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. Clybourne Park will be the fourth West End transfer for the Court since Cooke took over, following Polly Stenham's That Face in 2007, and at the start of this year in quick succession, Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem and Lucy Prebble’s Enron (a Headlong co-production).
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.
Currently at Wyndham’s, award-winning Broadway adult puppet musical Avenue Q finishes on 30 October 2010, after more than four years and three homes in the West End, having received its UK premiere in June 2006. It’s followed by comedian Bill Bailey’s new show Dandelion Mind, from 9 November to 7 December 2010 (previews from 2 November).