Lenny Henry and the cast of King Hedley II celebrate opening night

Nadia Fall directs August Wilson’s epic play

Martina Laird and Lenny Henry in King Hedley II
Martina Laird and Lenny Henry in King Hedley II
© Richard Davenport
We caught up with the cast of King Hedley II, which opened at the Theatre Royal Stratford East last night.

Directed by Nadia Fall, this new production of August Wilson's play stars Lenny Henry as Elmore, Aaron Pierre as Hedley, Martina Laird as Ruby and Cherrelle Skeete as Tonya. The cast is completed by Dexter Flanders as Mister and Leo Wringer as Stool Pigeon.

The piece tells of an ex-convict finding his way in life by trying to sell refrigerators and start a family. It is set in Pittsburgh during the Reagan administration and is part of Wilson's cycle of works examining the African American experience in the twentieth century.

In her review for WhatsOnStage, Sarah Crompton said: "its bleak relevance to the world of young black men growing up today… makes it understandable why… Nadia Fall felt that she should programme it."

The production has set and costume designs from Peter McKintosh, lighting from Howard Harrison, sound from Christopher Shutt, movement from Shelley Maxwell and fights from Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown.