Full Company Confirmed for Zadie Smith's THE WIFE OF WILLESDEN at BAM

The Wife of Willesden will run at the BAM Harvey Theater beginning April 1 through April 16, 2023.

By: Mar. 14, 2023
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Full Company Confirmed for Zadie Smith's THE WIFE OF WILLESDEN at BAM
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BAM has announced the full company for The Wife of Willesden, directed by Indhu Rubasingham at the BAM Harvey Theater beginning April 1 through April 16, 2023. The company arrives in Brooklyn on the heels of an acclaimed run at American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.)

Clare Perkins leads the cast as Alvita, The Wife of Willesden. She is joined by Marcus Adolphy as Winston/Mandela/Black Jesus, George Eggay as Pastor/Eldridge, Andrew Frame as Ian/Socrates/Bartosz, TROY Glasgow as Darren/Young Maroon, Claudia Grant as Polly/Sophie, Nikita Johal as Asma/Kelly, Scott Miller as Ryan/Colin, Jessica Murrain as Author/Zaire/Queen Nanny, and Ellen Thomas as Aunty P/Old Wife. Sophie Cartman is the understudy for Alvita and Aunty P/Old Wife.

In her debut play, bestselling author Zadie Smith-whose books include the Man Booker Prize-nominated novel On Beauty- gives us Alvita...a local legend. Married five times, a mother, a lover, an aunt, and a friend, Alvita is a Jamaican-born British woman in her mid-50s holding court at a Northwest London pub. This modern translation of an excerpt from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales comes to NYC after a sold-out, critically acclaimed run in London. Directed by Indhu Rubasingham, with an ensemble cast starring Clare Perkins in an exhilarating performance, this exuberant and verbally inventive play showcases the pleasures of Smith's quick wit. Rich with frank sexuality, this play celebrates the human knack for telling elaborate tales-especially ones about our own lives.

"We are thrilled to bring The Wife of Willesden to BAM," said Rubasingham. "In a world where there can never be enough stories told by, and about strong, dynamic women of color, we are eager for New York audiences to meet Alvita and this brilliant cast."

"I have loved this production and this group of artists since I was blown away by their performances at the Kiln," said David Binder, BAM Artistic Director. "I am so happy and proud that Zadie and Indhu agreed to present their work here at BAM. Our audiences are in for a real treat."

"Chaucer could not have imagined the way we have re-embodied his lines," said Smith. "Yet I felt the presence in the rehearsal room, of Chaucer's humor and bawdiness, his philosophical depth and intellectual perversity. All transformed by the process of passing through these various flesh-and-blood actors, with their human voices and human gestures, with which they are able to perform the miracle of turning text into experience, words into action, ideas into something like 'life.'"

Winner of the 2022 Critics' Circle Theatre Award for Most Promising Playwright, critically acclaimed and multi-award-winning best-selling author Zadie Smith transforms an excerpt from Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales into an unbelievable-and unforgettable-beautiful and bawdy new comedy.

The Wife of Willesden features design by four-time Olivier Award nominee Robert Jones, lighting design by Guy Hoare, and composition and sound design by Drama Desk Award Winners Ben and Max Ringham. Associate direction is by Hannah Hauer-King, associate costume design is by Kinnetia Isidore, casting is by Julia Horan CDG, movement direction is by Imogen Knight, fight direction is by Kev McCurdy, voice and dialect coaching is by Hazel Holder, and wigs, hair & make-up is by Campbell Young Associates. EJ Saunders is the Company Stage Manager, Anna Townley is the Deputy Stage Manager, Michael Medina is the ASM.

Zadie Smith

(Writer) is the author of the novels White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty, NW, and Swing Time, as well as essay collections Changing My Mind, Feel Free and Intimations, and the collection of short stories, Grand Union. She lives at the crossroads of Kilburn, Willesden, and Queen's Park in London, UK.

Indhu Rubasingham

(Director) is Artistic Director of Kiln Theatre. Her work for the company includes Handbagged (winner of the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre - also West End, UK tour, Washington, New York), The Wife of Willesden, The Invisible Hand, Pass Over, When the Crows Visit, Wife, White Teeth, Holy Sh!t, Red Velvet (which transferred to New York and later to the Garrick Theatre as part of the Kenneth Branagh Season), A Wolf in Snakeskin Shoes, Multitudes, The House That Will Not Stand, Paper Dolls, Women, Power and Politics, Stones in His Pockets, Detaining Justice, The Great Game: Afghanistan, Fabulation, Starstruck. Other theater credits include: Kerry Jackson, The Father and the Assassin, The Great Wave, Ugly Lies the Bone, The Motherf**cker with the Hat (Evening Standard Award for Best Play), The Waiting Room (National Theatre); The Ramayana (National Theatre / Birmingham Rep); Belong, Disconnect, Free Outgoing, Lift Off, Clubland, The Crutch, Sugar Mummies (Royal Court Theatre); Ruined (Almeida Theatre); Yellowman, Anna in the Tropics (Hampstead Theatre); Secret Rapture, The Misanthrope, Romeo and Juliet (Chichester Festival Theatre); Pure Gold (Soho Theatre); The No Boys Cricket Club, Party Girls (Theatre Royal Stratford East); Wuthering Heights (Birmingham REP); Heartbreak House (Watford Palace Theatre); Sugar Dollies, Shakuntala (Gate Theatre); A River Sutra (Three Mill Island Studios); Rhinoceros (UC Davis, California); A Doll's House (Young Vic Theatre).

Clare Perkins

(Alvita, The Wife of Willesden) Theater: The House That Will Not Stand, Fabulation, Kiln/Tricycle; Sweat, Donmar Warehouse/West End; Emilia, Shakespeare's Globe/West End; Welcome to Thebes, National Theatre; The Convert, Gate Theatre; Mules, Royal Court Theatre; Little Revolution, Almeida Theatre; Mrs. Dalloway, Arcola Theatre; Removal Men, The Yard; Genesis Inc, Hampstead Theatre; Generations of the Dead, Young Vic Theatre. TV/Film: "Professor T," ITV; "I Hate You," "Damned," Channel 4; "The Wheel of Time," "The Outlaws," Amazon Prime; "Suspicion," Apple TV; "Young Wallander," "The Crown," "Flack," "Been So Long," Netflix; "Pigheart Boy" (BAFTA, Best Children's Drama), BBC; Ladybird Ladybird, Secrets and Lies, Bullet Boy (Best Actress, Screen Nation), Censor, Medusa Deluxe (Cinema release 2023). Radio: "The Lamplighter," "Eight Point Nine Nine" (Gold Winner, ARIA Awards)," "Comment is Free," "Paid Servant," "Lifelines," Best Original Series Audio Drama Awards, "A Little Princess," "Weak at the Top," "Westway," "Landfall," "No. 10," "Best Interests," "The Archers" (Denise).

Marcus Adolphy

(Winston/Mandela/Black Jesus) Theater: Signal Fires, Eastern Angles-Hightide; One Man, Two Guvnors, Wolsey Theatre; The Convert, Gate Theatre; The Suicide, The Comedy of Errors, War Horse, National Theatre; Backseat Drivers, The London Theatre; Keeler, The Charing Cross Theatre; Macbeth, The Last Refuge Theatre; The Chicago Cowboy, Rosemary Branch Theatre; Twelfth Night, The Nursery Theatre; Keeping Mum, 1867, A Christmas Carol, Brockley Jack Theatre; The Children of Salt, Alma Theatre Bristol. Television credits include: "The Sandman," "Scott and Bailey," "Father Figure," "Doctors." Training: London Centre for Theatre Studies.

George Eggay

(Pastor/Eldridge) Theater: Archbishop, The Last King of Scotland, Crucible Theatre; The Firm, Hampstead Theatre; Ear for Eye, Royal Court Theatre; King Lear, The Old Vic; The Tiger's Bones, New Perspectives Theatre; Arabian Nights, New Vic Theatre; Dishoodbe on TV, Hackney Empire; Passage to Freedom, This Accursed Thing, Andrew Ashmore Associates; A Streetcar Named Desire, Frozen, The Power Book, The Wind in the Willows, National Theatre; The Evocation of Papa Mas, Told by an Idiot; The Ramayana, Birmingham Rep/National Theatre; Servant of Two Masters, Nottingham Playhouse; Crossfire, Paines Plough; Bretevski Street, Theatre Centre; The Robbers, Gate Theatre; The Meeting, Riverside Studios; Love of the Nightingale, Theatre Melange. TV/Film: "Casualty," "Finding Alice," Red Productions; "Black Earth Rising," Drama Republic/BBC/Netflix; "Hugo Blick," "The Love of Books," Sam Hobkinson at Oxford Film & Television; "Doctors," "Shoot the Messenger," "Spooks," Between the Lines, BBC; All You Need is Kill, Warner Bros.; Final Passage, Passage Productions. Radio: "A Noise in the Night," BBC Radio. Training: Drama Centre.

Andrew Frame

(Ian/Socrates/Bartosz) Theater: Small Island, Macbeth, Market Boy, Royal Hunt of the Sun, This House, National Theatre; Mumburger, Old Red Lion; 12 Angry Men, West End; Responsible Other, Hampstead Theatre; 66 Books, Bush Theatre; Wittenberg, Gate Theatre; The English Game, Rough Crossings, Headlong Theatre; Festen, Lyric Hammersmith Theatre. TV/Film: "Jewels," "White House Farm," "Save Me," "Class," "DCI Banks," "Inspector George Gently," "Silk," "Holby City," "Trial & Retribution," "EastEnders," "Doctors," "The Bill," "Wire in The Blood," "Touching Evil," London Road, Broken. Radio: "The Archers," "Is He Still Breathing," "Festen," "Life Together."

TROY Glasgow

(Darren/Young Maroon) Theater: DNA/Babygirl/The Miracle, Harper Regan, National Theatre; There's Only One Wayne Matthews, Crucible Theatre; A Streetcar Named Desire, Young Vic Theatre/St Ann's Warehouse; Fatal Attraction, UK Tour. TV/Film: "The Bill," "Holby City," "Casualty," "Skins," Film credits include: The Day of the Triffids, Adulthood, London's Burning, MI High, Mr. Harvey Lights a Candle, Shoot the Messenger, Piggy, World War Z.

Claudia Grant

(Polly/Sophie) Theater: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Original West End cast), West End; The Noble Nine, Tewl Theatre; The Tempest, Much Ado About Nothing, Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre; Swallows and Amazons, Storyhouse Chester; Juicy and Delicious, Nuffield Theatre; Spring Awakening, Headlong Theatre/West Yorkshire Playhouse/Nuffield Theatre; Scarborough, White Bear Theatre; A Beautiful Recitation of Pi, Whitechapel Theatre; Knives in Hens, Camden People's Theatre; The Lover, Finborough Theatre. TV/Film: "An Adventure in Space and Time," "Doctors," "The Bill," "Being Me," Invisible, Seeing Things. Training: LAMDA.

Nikita Johal

(Asma/Kelly) Theater: The World Goes 'Round', Yvonne Arnaud Theatre; Aladdin, The Harlington Centre; Princess Caraboo, Finborough Theatre; Children Of Eden, Union Theatre; Spring Awakening, Hope Mill Theatre; The Snow Queen, Liverpool Everyman Theatre; Broken Wings, The Other Palace/West End/Lebanon; Sleeping Beauty, Watford Palace Theatre; Aladdin, Newbury Corn Exchange; What the Ladybird Heard, West End/UK Tour; Migrations, Welsh National Opera UK Tour. Training: PPA, Guildford in Musical Theatre.

Scott Miller

(Ryan/Colin) Theater: War Horse, National Theatre; Dragon, National Theatre of Scotland/Vox Motus; Don Quixote, Oran Mor; Hamlet, Three Sisters, LAMDA. Film: The Outrun, Brock Media/Arcade Pictures; The Road Dance, Wind Chill Media Group; Balance Not Symmetry, Dignity Films/Sparky Pictures; The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Sky Arts/Cosmic Cat. Training: LAMDA.

Jessica Murrain

(Author / Zaire / Queen Nanny) Theater: The Last Dinosaur, The Herd Theatre; When the Daffodils, Orange Tree Theatre; Macbeth, Shakespeare's Globe; A Christmas Carol, Royal Shakespeare Company; Peter Pan, Troubadour White City Theatre/National Theatre; King Lear, West End; DIGS, Theatre with Legs; Skate Hard, Turn Left, Battersea Arts Centre; The Long Trick, Wardrobe Theatre/Southwest Tour; Messiah, Bristol Old Vic. TV/Film: "The Baby," Sky/HBO; "Soulmates," Amazon Prime; "I Used to Be Famous," "The Sandman," Netflix; Blonde. Purple, Amazon Prime. Training: Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

Ellen Thomas

(Aunty P / Old Wife) Theater: Amen Corner, Kiln/Tricycle. Theater: Egusi Soup, Moon on a Rainbow Shawl, Almeida Theatre; Statement of Regret, The American Clock, Fuente Ovejuna, National Theatre; The Estate, Soho Theatre; Vagina Monologues on Tour, Blest Be the Tie, Royal Court Theatre; Twelfth Night, Royal Exchange Manchester; A Bitter Herb, Bristol Old Vic; Criminals in Love, Contact Theatre Manchester; Echo in the Bone, Lyric Hammersmith Theatre; Twelfth Night, Birmingham Rep. TV/Film: "EastEnders," "Mount Pleasant," "Rev," "Teachers," "Lenny Henry in Pieces," "Cardiac Arrest," "London Bridge," "Holding On," "The Jury," "Buried Treasure," "Death in Paradise," "Max," "In the Long Run," "The Queen and I," "Dark Money," "Mount Pleasant," "Critical," "Humans," "Come Fly with Me," "Coming of Age," "Casualty," "Moses Jones," "Outnumbered," "Bremner and Fortune," "Little Miss Jocelyn," "Trial and Retribution," "The Marshioness Disaster," "Never Never Active Defence," "Ultraviolet," "Ruth Rendell's Simisola," "French & Saunders," "Hallelujah Anyhow," Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, Golden Years, Love Punch, It's a Lot, Ashes, Ryan and Ronnie, Clubbed, Breaking and Entering, Risk Addiction, South West Nine, Michael Winterbottom's Wonderland, Some Voices, Secret Laughter of Women. Radio: "The Republicans," "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," "Singin' and Swingin'," "What Does the K Stand For?," "Say Goodbye Twice," "Why is the Sky So Blue?," "Writing the Century," "Statement of Regret," "The Community," "Silver Street," "Face," "Unspoken."

Sophie Cartman

trained at Rose Bruford College. Her work in theatre includes Richard III and All's Well That Ends Well at The RSC; Manor at National Theatre; Four o'clock Flowers at The Space Arts Centre; Doe for Etcetera; Flush at the Winemakers Club; The Crucible on UK tour; Staffroom at the Tristan Bates,; Mules at the White Bear; Macbeth at Rochester Cathedral; Ring Round the Moon for Yokohama Theatre group (Japan); and Death of Salesman in the West End. TV includes Sexy Beast, Doc Martin, EastEnders, Twirlywoos, Suspicion, Killer Doctors on Death Row and Kaseifu wa Mita (Japan). Film includes Four O'Clock Flowers (co-lead), A Very Short Film About Longing (BBC) Across the Ocean (Red Panda Films). Evil Never Dies and Repercussions (lead). Radio includes Eulogies (Fizzy Sherbet Plays) Monster 1983 (Audible) and A Tokyo Murder (Radio 4).


AMERICAN REPERTORY THEATER at Harvard University is a leading force in the American theater, producing groundbreaking work that is driven by risk-taking and passionate inquiry to catalyze dialogue and transformation. Led by Terrie and Bradley Bloom Artistic Director Diane Paulus and Executive Director Kelvin Dinkins, Jr., A.R.T.'s Tony Award-winning and nominated productions include Jagged Little Pill; Waitress; Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812; All the Way; The Glass Menagerie; Pippin; Once; The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess. West End: Waitress, Nice Fish, The Glass Menagerie. Other international: Waitress, Nice Fish, The Glass Menagerie, Once (West End); Waitress, Pippin (Japan); Jagged Little Pill, Pippin (Australia); Sleep No More (China). Currently: 1776 National Tour (following 2022/23 Broadway run); Sleep No More in New York City.


Kiln Theatre sits in the heart of Kilburn in Brent, a unique and culturally diverse area of London where over 140 languages are spoken. It is a newly refurbished, welcoming and proudly local venue with an internationally acclaimed program of world and UK premieres. Kiln's work presents the world through a variety of lenses, amplifying unheard / ignored voices into the mainstream, exploring and examining the threads of human connection that cross race, culture and identity. Kiln believes that theater is for all and wants everyone to feel welcome and entitled to call the Kiln their own. It is committed to nurturing the talent of young people and its local communities to provide a platform for their voices to be heard. For more information visit KilnTheatre.com.


A world-class home for adventurous artists, audiences, and ideas, BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) is North America's oldest performing arts center, showcasing the work of emerging artists and modern icons. It is led by President, Gina Duncan, and Artistic Director, David Binder.

For more than 160 years, BAM has built a thriving, urban multi-arts complex renowned for presenting an unparalleled roster of visionary and cutting-edge dance, theater, music, opera, visual arts, literature, and film engagements. Attracting more than 750,000 people annually to its home in Brooklyn, BAM provides a welcoming cultural stage and meeting place for global and local communities of all backgrounds. BAM's distinctive multi-theater campus is alive yearround with inspired new engagements and acclaimed signature programs including the renowned Next Wave Festival, the iconic DanceAfrica, the stunning Word.Sound.Power poetry event, the ebullient Everybooty celebration, the acclaimed repertory film program, literary and visual art events, and the extraordinary educational and humanities programs.

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