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New Bonnie Greer play in Theatre Royal Stratford East season

This year's panto has also been confirmed as Sinbad the Sailor

Bonnie Greer OBE
(© Dan Wooller)

Theatre Royal Stratford East's new season will feature the world premiere of a new play from Bonnie Greer OBE.

The Hotel Cerise, which will be directed by Femi Elufowoju Jr, is inspired by Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard. It tells the story of a black middle class family losing their hotel, where Martin Luther King once stayed. Bonnie Greer's previous theatre credits include Yes (Royal Opera House) and 48:Greco/Davis (London Jazz Festival). The play will run from 20 October to 12 November.

Commenting on the themes of the season, artistic director Kerry Michael said: "What we try to do is stage shows that capture the energy and diversity of London in all its differences. A new piece by Bonnie Greer is really exciting.

"As we see Obama end his eight year presidency, Bonnie is the perfect person to look at what it means for the psyche of the black middle classes."

Elsewhere in the season, Michael will direct this year's pantomime Sinbad the Sailor. The well-renowned panto will tell the Middle Eastern story of Sinbad, based on the original 14th century tale. With book and lyrics by Paul Sirett, it will run from 28 November to 21 January.

On the panto, Michael said "we turn traditional on its head".

"It will be quite rude for the adults, but cute for the kids. We've spent a whole year developing it and it's really quite bespoke to the theatre."

Counting Stars by Atiha Sen Gupta runs from 26 August to 17 September, and gives an insight into immigrant life. It follows two Nigerian immigrants who work as nightclub toilet attendants who are paid nothing but tips, and will be directed by Pooja Ghai.

In the new year, the theatre will present the UK premiere of The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, a coming-of-age story about a black middle class girl in LA. Written by Kirsten Childs and directed by Josette Bushell-Mingo, it will run from 1 Feburary to 11 March.

David Greig's Glasgow Girls will return to the theatre as part of a UK tour. Directed by Cora Bisset, the musical is a Scottish based drama about seven teenagers whose lives change when their asylum-seeking friend is deported. It runs from 20 September to 1 October.

Following a sold-out run at the Barbican, Ballet Black returns in a new partnership with the theatre. The programme will include Christopher Hampson's Storyville, Christopher Marney's To Begin, Begin and Olivier Award winner Arthur Pita's Cristaux. Ballet Black will run from 6 to 8 October.

For more information on the Theatre Royal Stratford East season, click here.

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