Theatre News

Slave Play to run in the West End – with cast to include Fisayo Akinade, Kit Harington, Olivia Washington and more

The play was the most-nominated in Tony Awards history

slave play cast
The cast of Slave Play, headshots provided and distributed by the production

The highly acclaimed Slave Play is headed for the UK stage for the first time.

Written by Jeremy O Harris and directed by Robert O’Hara, the show was originally performed at New York Theatre Workshop in 2018 before transferring to Broadway in 2019, where it received significant recognition, earning 12 nominations at the 74th Tony Awards – the most of any play on Broadway ever.

It opens on a plantation in the Old South, though everything is not as it appears – with the piece exploring race, identity, and sexuality in contemporary America.

Appearing in the West End cast will be Fisayo Akinade (The Crucible), Kit Harington (Game of Thrones), Aaron Heffernan (Brassic), and Olivia Washington (I’m A Virgo), alongside James Cusati-Moyer, Chalia La Tour, Annie McNamara, and Irene Sofia Lucio, all four of whom will reprise their roles from the original Broadway production.

The show will run at the Noël Coward Theatre from 29 June to 21 September 2024, while the creative team includes Clint Ramos (design), Dede Ayite (costumes), Jiyoun Chang (lighting), Lindsay Jones (composition and sound design), and Amy Ball (casting).

Tickets for Slave Play will be available starting from £20, with a weekly ‘pay what you can’ lottery offering over 200 tickets for £1 and above. Additionally, BLACK OUT nights will be held on 17 July and 17 September to ensure an inclusive and supportive environment for Black audiences.

Harris explained: “This play has been a part of me for many years now. It was a play written for my friends, actors like myself, who felt underserved by the options available to them to explore the unspoken terrain of both American history and our collective unconscious in relation to those histories. It was a play written for my friends in grad school who were rarely given the chance to be centre stage. It was written thinking that the Iseman stage (my university’s black box theatre) would be its first and final home. Yet five years later we have been Off- Broadway, on Broadway, and all over America. And now London. Many of the people from the very first reading in my grad school flat have been with the play ever since and are returning to do it in London. It is one of the great honours and gifts of my life that it has made it here.

“I do not take it lightly that this play is one of the rare plays by a black author that has made its way to the West End. I’m incredibly grateful for the trails blazed by the myriad black British writers recently who have broken ground for black writers and audiences on the West End like Arinzé Kene, Kwame Kwei- Armah, Tyrell Williams, Ryan Calais Cameron, and Natasha Gordon. I hope that with this production even more work by writers of colour will find support on our largest commercial stage.”

Tickets are on sale below.

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Slave Play

Performances begin: 29 June 2024