UK News: Writer Kwame Kwei-Armah stars in his own Elmina's Kitchen in the West End

AWARD WINNING ELMINA'S KITCHEN WRITTEN BY AND STARRING Kwame Kwei-Armah TRANSFERS FROM National Theatre TO LONDON'S WEST END FOLLOWING A UK TOUR

 

Kwame Kwei-Armah's award-winning Elmina's Kitchen will open at the Garrick Theatre in London's West End following a national tour. The strictly limited season begins previews on 20 April with press night on 26 April. The cast - Doña Croll, Oscar James, Michael Obiora, Shaun Parkes and Don Warrington - are joined by Kwame Kwei-Armah who plays Deli.

 

Directed by Angus Jackson, Elmina's Kitchen is designed by Bunny Christie, with lighting by Hartly T A Kemp and music by Neil McArthur. The production, which premiered at The National Theatre has been recently remounted at Birmingham Rep. Currently on tour in the UK, Elmina's Kitchen will be produced in the West End by Bill Kenwright, Jenny King and Matthew Gale. 

 

Wirtten as a dark love letter to his son, Elmina's Kitchen is the story of a single dad's struggle to survive and protect his wayward son from The Temptations of crime. Set in a run down West Indian café in Hackney, Deli takes on a new waitress, feisty Anastasia, to help him clean up and improve his café. Meanwhile, his son Ashley and his old friend Digger are out to advance themselves in a rather different way whilst Deli's own father and his best friend have their own ideas for self-improvement.

 

Elmina's Kitchen was Kwame Kwei-Armah's first play for The National Theatre, winning him the 2003 Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright and an Olivier Award nomination. Following a successful run in the Cottesloe in 2003 Elmina's Kitchen was screened on BBC4. Fix Up, his second play for the National also directed by Angus Jackson, opened in December 2004. His other writing credits include Hold On (Durham Theatre Royal and national tour), A Bitter Herb (Bristol Old Vic), Blues Brother Soul Sister (Bristol Old Vic and national tour) and Big Nose (Belgrade Theatre Coventry) as well as participating in the Old Vic New Voices 24 Hour Plays. On television he is best known for playing Finlay Newton in the BBC's long running Casualty. He was an immensely popular contestant on Celebrity Fame Academy and subsequently released his first album, Kwame.

 

Kwame Kwei-Armah is joined by Don Warrington playing Clifton (best known as Phil in the hit comedy series Rising Damp, his theatre work includes The Merchant of Venice and The Mysteries), Doña Croll as Anastasia (most recently seen on stage in Two Step at the Almeida and on television in Family Affairs and Gimme Gimme Gimme), Shaun Parkes as Digger (stage work includes Guantanamo at the New Ambassadors, Blue/ Orange at the Duchess and Chips with Everything at the National; his film work includes The Mummy Returns and Human Traffic), Oscar James as Bayjee (theatre work includes Of Mine and Men at the Old Vic, Playboy of the West Indies at the Tricycle and The Coup at the National; film and television work includes Afterlife, Love Thy Neighbour, Till Death Us Do Part) and Michael Obiora as Ashley, (theatre work includes Fallout at the

Royal Court
and on television he began his professional career aged 9 playing Max Abassi in Grange Hill).

 

Elmina's Kitchen was Angus Jackson's debut production at the National, which he followed with Fix Up, also written by Kwei-Armah. His other productions include the Old Vic New Voices 24 Hour Plays, Fuddy Mears (Birmingham Rep and The Arts Theatre), Dealer's Choice (Birmingham Rep), Up On The Roof (Minerva, Chichester) and Sexual Perversity in Chicago (Sheffield Crucible). His film credits include Late One Night, a short film written by Patrick Marber (currently in post-production).

 

Elmina's Kitchen is currently on tour at the Bristol Old Vic (15-19 March), The Lowry, Salford (22-26 March) and West Yorkshire Playhouse (29 March - 2 April).

 

ELMINA'S KITCHEN

 

The National Theatre/Birmingham Repertory Theatre production of Kwame Kwei-Armah's award-winning Elmina's Kitchen is at the Garrick Theatre from 20 April with a cast including Doña Croll, Oscar James, Shaun Parkes and Don Warrington who are joined by Kwame Kwei-Armah who will play Deli.

 

Written as a dark love letter to his son, Elmina's Kitchen is the story of a single dad's struggle to survive and protect his wayward son from The Temptations of crime. Three generations play out their funny tragic lives on the war front of Hackney's murder mile with chilling consequences.

 

Directed by Angus Jackson, Elmina's Kitchen is designed by Bunny Christie, with lighting by Hartly T A Kemp and music by Neil McArthur and is presented in the West End by Bill Kenwright, Jenny King and Matthew Gale.

 

The Garrick Theatre,

Charing Cross Road, London
WC2

Box Office 0870 890 1104

Strictly limited season from 20 April, Press Night 26 April 2005 at

Monday - Saturday at , Thursday matinees at , Saturday matinees at

Ticket prices from £10, £17.50, £27.50 and £35.00

Booking Now Open

 

· In order to reach the widest possible audience, 50 best seats at £10 will be available in advance for every performance

· For previews and press night:  two tickets for the price of one (on top two prices)

· Concessions (including young people from 13-18) £10 available in advance and on the door



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