Casting has been announced for the first major UK revival of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Choir Boy, Nancy Medina’s first production as artistic director of Bristol Old Vic.
The new play by McCraney (who penned the screenplay for Moonlight) follows Pharus, a young queer, Black student, leading the legendary gospel choir at his elite all-boys prep school in America.
Playing Pharus is Terique Jarrett (Daddy), alongside Jyuddah Jaymes (Romeo and Juliet) as AJ, Michael Ahomka-Lindsay (Jack Kelly in Newsies) as David, Khalid Daley (Hamilton) as JR, Alistair Nwachukwu (Shadow and Bone) as Bobby, with the cast completed by Daon Broni (Women Beware Women) as Headmaser Marrow and Martin Turner (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) as Mr Pendleton.
Also on the creative team are musical director Femi Temowo (Death of a Salesman), designer Max Johns (Birthmarked), lighting designer Simisola Majekodunmi (Is God is) and sound designer Donato Wharton (White Noise).
Medina said today: “At every step of putting our production of Choir Boy together, there’s been a palpable feeling of joy and giddiness – because it offers such rich, three-dimensional characters for young Black men to perform. It provides what is still a rare opportunity to delve deep into gorgeous characters and explore their honest relationships through really well-crafted storytelling. Tarell Alvin McCraney’s script never skips a beat, getting to the essence of what human connection means.
“I’ve known this play for a few years and during that time society has shifted the conversation about identity, equity and social justice on quite significantly. Woven through this joyous play, current conversations take on new meaning, as our tremendously talented cast and creative team bring it to life, I hope Bristol audiences fall in love with Choir Boy as much as I have.”
Competling the creative team are Ingrid Mackinnon (movement director and intimacy coordinator), Samantha Adams (drama therapist), Aundrea Fudge (voice and dialect coach), Julia Horan (casting director), Kev McCurdy (fight director), Tatenda Shamiso (associate director) and Sophia Khan (costume supervisor and hair consultant).
The show runs from 12 October to 11 November at Bristol Old Vic.