Lenny Henry stars in UK tour of August Wilson's Fences, Feb 2013
Wilson's 1983 play, which forms part of the late dramatist's epic ten-play cycle about the black experience in 20th-century America, centres on Troy Maxson, a former baseball star who is now a garbageman and consumed by bitterness.
Henry, who has recently forged a successful stage acting career with credits including Othello (Northern Broadsides) and The Comedy of Errors (National Theatre), said in a recent interview with the Evening Chronicle: "I am really enjoying the stage work... When you have been a comedian 30 years you have to think what else can I do? Career-wise, being an actor is a good move."
Fences was written in 1983 and made its Broadway premiere in 1987, starring James Earl Jones. It went on to win a Tony Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The play, which is set in Pittsburgh in 1957, was recently revived on Broadway in an acclaimed production starring Denzel Washington, though rumours of a West End transfer failed to materialise.
It was previously seen in the West End in 1990, in a production at the Garrick Theatre starring Yaphet Kotto and Adrian Lester.
The Theatre Royal Bath production will be directed by former Talawa artistic director Paulette Randall, whose credits include Blest be the Tie (Royal Court), August Wilson's Radio Golf (Tricycle), Crossings (Contact, Manchester) and Five Guys Named Moe (Theatre Royal, Stratford East).
NB: This story has been amended. It originally stated the production is the play's UK premiere.