Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Donmar Warehouse Announces Cast For the World Premiere of Diana Nneka Atuona's TROUBLE IN BUTETOWN

Performances run 10 February – 25 March 2023.

Donmar Warehouse Announces Cast For the World Premiere of Diana Nneka Atuona's TROUBLE IN BUTETOWN

Artistic Director Michael Longhurst and Executive Director Henny Finch have announced the casting for Diana Nneka Atuona's Trouble in Butetown. Tinuke Craig directs Samuel Adewunmi, Rita Bernard-Shaw, Ifan Huw Dafydd, Zaqi Ismail, Gareth Kennerley, Bethan Mary-James, Sarah Parish and Zephryn Taitte.

The world première production opens on 20 February 2023, with previews from 10 February, and runs until 25 March. The Donmar continues its 30th anniversary celebrations providing £10 tickets for audiences aged under 30 to mark the milestone, with support from Associate Sponsor Barclays.

The production is designed by Peter McKintosh, with lighting design by Oliver Fenwick, sound design by Emma Laxton, composed by Clement Ishmael, movement director - Ingrid Mackinnon, fight direction by Kev McCurdy and casting by Anna Cooper CDG.

In her illegal boarding house in Butetown, Cardiff, Gwyneth Mbanefo toils tirelessly to keep afloat.

It's a port town during the war; home to souls from every corner of the globe. When Nate, an African American GI, escapes his barracks and discovers this new world without segregation, can he find safe harbour? And with danger on every corner, whom can he trust?

Trouble in Butetown is a world première by the award-winning playwright Diana Nneka Atuona (Liberian Girl), directed by Tinuke Craig.

Trouble in Butetown is a recipient of the Theatre Royal Haymarket Writers Award and the George Devine Award.

Samuel Adewunmi plays Nate. Trouble in Butetown marks his professional stage debut. His television credits include You Don't Know Me (BAFTA Best Actor nomination, MOBO Awards nomination), Angela Black, Stan Lee's Lucky Man, Doctor Who, Prime Suspect 1973, Dixi, The Missing and for film; Born a King, The Last Tree (Most Promising Newcomer at the British Independent Film Awards) and Hatton Garden Job.

Rita Bernard-Shaw plays Connie. Trouble in Butetown marks his professional stage debut. Her television credits include Van der Valk, The Power, The Nevers and for film; Catherine Called Birdy, Eternal Beauty and The Machine.

Ifan Huw Dafydd plays Patsy. His theatre credits include Under Milk Wood (National Theatre/UK tour/Theatr Clwyd), As You Like It, Arden of Faversham, History of Falling Things, Festen, Memory, King Lear, Hard Times, Twelfth Night, The Drawer Boy, A Christmas Carol, Afore Night Come, Rape of the Fair Country (Theatr Clwyd), The Wood (Torch Theatre), Raving (Hampstead Theatre), Dark Earth, Light Sky (Almeida Theatre), Enemy for the People (Chapter Arts Centre), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (UK tour) and The Indian Queen (Glasgow Citizen's Theatre). His television credits include The Light In The Hall, Goldie's Oldies, 4 Stories, On the Edge, 15 Days, Enid a Lucy, Pitching In, The Crown, Parch, Requiem, 35 Diwrnod, The Bastard Executioner, Casualty, Doctors, Hinterland, The Indian Doctor, Sherlock: The Reichenbach Fall, Borgia, Alys, Gavin and Stacey, Rise of the Gargoyles, Holby City, Midsomer Murders, Con Passionate, The Last Detective, Foyle's War: Eagle Day, Hearts of Gold, In Deep, Care: Heartburn Hotel, Mortimer's Law, Fireman Sam. Screen One, The Life and Death of Phillip Knight, The Silent Twins and for film; Denmark: London Town, Mr Nice, Martha, Jac a Sianco, The Proposition, Coming Up Roses, Abraham's Point, Daddy's Girl and Leaving Lenin.

Zaqi Ismail plays Dullah. His theatre credits include 10 Nights, Three Wise Monkeys (Bush Theatre) and The Dishonoured (Arcola Theatre/UK tour). His television credits include The Undeclared War, Baptiste, Lady Parts, Britannia, Strike Back Reboot, Indian Summers, Doctor Who and for film; Summer in the Shade.

Gareth Kennerley plays Detective Hughes. His theatre credits include Othello, The Corn is Green, War Horse, Saint Joan (National Theatre), The Tragedy of Macbeth (Almeida Theatre), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Australian Shakespeare Company), The Importance of Being Earnest (Play in the Park), Crystal Clear (White Deer Theatre at the Old Red Lion), Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (The Palace Theatre), House and Garden (Watermill Theatre), Five Guys Chillin' (King's Head Theatre), Hookup (Hackney Showrooms), Sanguine (Scaffold State), Pedal Pusher (Theatre Delicatessen), Stand Up, Diggers All (Pentabus Theatre), Pavement (King's Theatre), Carmen (Stephen Joseph Theatre), The Comedy of Errors, Richard III (Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory), Sweeney Todd (Dundee Rep), Cloud Sensation (Curving Road), Doctor Faustus, The Schools for Scandal (Greenwich Theatre), Under Milk Wood (Tricycle Theatre), The Pendulum (Jermyn Street Theatre), Fiddler on the Roof (Sheffield Crucible/Savoy Theatre), Arden of Faversham (Skin and Bone Theatre), King Lear (Creation Theatre Company), and The Triumph of Love (Lady Windsor Theatre). His film credits include My Policeman.

Bethan Mary-James plays Peggy. His theatre credits include The Meaning of Zong (Bristol Old Vic), The Merthyr Stigmatist (Sherman Theatre/Theatre Uncut/Zoar Theatre), This Beautiful Virtual Village (Abbey Theatre), Antigone (National Theatre Wales), Much Ado About Nothing (Tobacco Factory/ Wilton's Music Hall), Henry II (Between The Lines Theatre), Women of the World Festival (Yap Yap Yap/Southbank Centre), Pride and Prejudice (Nottingham Playhouse/York Theatre Royal), The Revenger's Tragedy (Nottingham Playhouse), Moon on a Rainbow Shawl (Talawa/National Theatre), A Christmas Carol (Birmingham Rep Theatre), All My Sons (Manchester Royal Exchange), Future for Beginners (Wales Millennium Centre) and Early Days of a Better Nation (Ovalhouse). Her television credits include Sisters, Friday Night Dinner, Doctors, Casualty, The Collection, Cuffs, Stella, Public Enemies and for film; Belle and On a Knife Edge.

Sarah Parish plays Gwyneth. She previously appeared in Nine at the Donmar. Other Theatre credits include Way Upstream (Chichester Festival Theatre) and Popcorn (Apollo Theatre). For television, her credits include Stay Close, McDonald and Dodds, Inside Number 9, Industry, The Cockfields, Medici, Bancroft, Broadchurch, The Collection, W1A, Trollied, Breathless, Atlantis, Hatfields and McCoys, Monroe, The Pillars of the Earth, Mistresses, Sex, the City and Me, Doctor Who, Aftersun, Recovery, What Happens on the Bus, Our Hidden Lives, Miss Marple, If I Had You, Much Ado About Nothing, Blackpool, Reversals, Unconditional Lover, Trust, Cutting It, Sirens, Impact, Hearts and Bones, Table Twelve, The Vice, Brotherly Love, Kiss Me Kate, City Central, Beast, Peak Practise (Winner of the Regional Television Award for Best Actress), Cry Wolf, Babes in the Wood and Pay and Display. Her film credits include You Me and Him, Dunroamin, The Holiday, The Wedding Date and Parting Shots.

Zephryn Taitte plays Norman. His theatre credits include Nora: A Doll's House (Young Vic), Bitter Wheat (Garrick Theatre), Glengarry Glen Ross, The Jungle Book, The Crucible (UK tour), Trust (Gate Theatre), The Tempest (Stafford Shakespeare Festival), Result (Pleasance Theatre), Rachel (Finborough Theatre), The Man in the Green Jacket (Jermyn Street Theatre), The Island (Union Theatre), The Tempest and Romeo and Juliet (Oval House). His television credits include series regular Cyril Robinson in Call the Midwife, Unforgotten, Father Brown, Doctors Urban Myths, The Hour, Brothers With No Game and for film; Daemon Mind, No Shade, Dirty Money, Run it Off and White.

Diana Nneka Atuona is a Nigerian-British playwright from Peckham, London. She studied at South Bank University before winning a scholarship from Gray's Inn to study law. Her first play Liberian Girl won the 2013 Alfred Fagon Award and opened at The Royal Court Theatre in 2015. Atuona was also nominated for the Evening Standard Award as Most Promising Playwright and the Writer's Guild award for Best New Play. In 2019 she received the 50th George Devine Award for most promising playwright for Trouble in Butetown. Diana is currently working on a short play for Tiata Fahodzi's project, Talking about a Revolution for Autumn 2022. She is also developing work for television and film and is currently under commission with the Royal Court and The Old Vic.

Tinuke Craig's directing credits include: Jitney (Headlong / Leeds Playhouse and Old Vic), Last Easter (Orange Tree), Aisha (the black album) (Old Vic), Crave (Chichester Festival Theatre), Hamlet For Young Audiences (National Theatre), Cinderella (Lyric Hammersmith), Vassa (Almeida Theatre), The Color Purple (Leicester Curve/Birmingham Hippodrome), random/generations (Chichester Festival Theatre), I Call My Brothers (Gate Theatre), dirty butterfly (Young Vic). Tinuke trained at LAMDA and received the Genesis Future Director Award 2014. In 2015-2016 Tinuke was The Gate Theatre's Associate Director and she is currently an Artistic Associate at the Lyric Hammersmith. She is the current Baylis Director at the Old Vic.



THE TIME TRAVELLERS WIFE: THE MUSICAL Will Open in Londons West End in October Photo
The world premiere production of The Time Traveller's Wife: The Musical, based on the best-selling novel by Audrey Niffenegger and the New Line Cinema film screenplay by Bruce Joel Rubin, will open at the Apollo Theatre in London's West End, following a sold-out season at Storyhouse in Chester in October 2022. 

Kerry Ellis Will Release New Album Kings & Queens on 12 May Photo
The supremely talented singer, songwriter and actress Kerry Ellis has announced the release of her 4th studio album, Kings & Queens, out on Westway Music on 12 May 2023.

MATILDA THE MUSICAL Extends Booking Period at Cambridge Theatre Photo
The Royal Shakespeare Company's multi-award-winning production of Matilda The Musical is now booking through to 26 May 2024 with tickets for the new dates now on sale.

Tickets from £12 for VILLAGE IDIOT at Theatre Royal Stratford East Photo
Townies have decided they want a lie in, so they’re building a new high-speed railway. Issue is, it’s going right through Barbara Honeybone’s house, and she ‘ent having none of it. Barbara’s grandson Peter works for the townies and it’s his job to convince the village that having a two-tonne bullet hurtling through the cabbage patches will actually be for the best.


More Hot Stories For You


The Royal Opera House Celebrates International Women's Day 2023 With Performance of BORN TO EXIST - THE WOMEN I KNOWThe Royal Opera House Celebrates International Women's Day 2023 With Performance of BORN TO EXIST - THE WOMEN I KNOW
February 8, 2023

This year, the Royal Opera House celebrates International Women's Day on Wednesday 8 March in the Linbury Theatre with a dedicated panel discussion exploring themes of gender equity in dance. The event will be supported by an exclusive performance of Born to Exist – The Women I Know created by Royal Ballet Emerging Choreographer Joseph Toonga for his dance company Just Us Dance Theatre.

Katherine Kingsley Joins the Cast of NOISES OFF in the West EndKatherine Kingsley Joins the Cast of NOISES OFF in the West End
February 8, 2023

Michael Frayn's multi award-winning farce Noises Off continues its highly praised and critically acclaimed run at the West End's Phoenix Theatre until 11 March 2023. From Monday 13 February 2023, West End star and three-time Olivier Award-winning actress Katherine Kingsley (Piaf, Singin' in the Rain, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) will play Belinda Blair.

THIS BITTER EARTH Comes to the White Bear Theatre This MonthTHIS BITTER EARTH Comes to the White Bear Theatre This Month
February 8, 2023

When award-winning Black US playwright, librettist, and television writer David Harrison Rivers' modern, nuanced, complex portrait of an interracial relationship received its world premiere at New Conservatory Theatre Center, San Francisco in 2017, it received rave reviews. It has since been staged to great acclaim across the U.S. This February, Storefront Theatre and Sarah Lawrie present its UK premiere in a brand-new production directed by Peter Cieply.

Cade & MacAskill Return To Battersea Arts Centre With THE MAKING OF PINOCCHIOCade & MacAskill Return To Battersea Arts Centre With THE MAKING OF PINOCCHIO
February 8, 2023

A true tale of love and transition told through the story of Pinocchio.   Set in a fictional film studio, you are invited to go behind the scenes of Cade & MacAskill's creative process and their relationship, and question what it takes to tell your truth. 

MATILDA THE MUSICAL Extends Booking Period at Cambridge TheatreMATILDA THE MUSICAL Extends Booking Period at Cambridge Theatre
February 8, 2023

The Royal Shakespeare Company's multi-award-winning production of Matilda The Musical is now booking through to 26 May 2024 with tickets for the new dates now on sale.