Kiln Theatre Announces Full Cast For The World Première Of Zodwa Nyoni's THE DARKEST PART OF THE NIGHT

The production opens at Kiln Theatre on 21 July, with previews from 14 July, and runs until 13 August.

By: May. 16, 2022
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Kiln Theatre Announces Full Cast For The World Première Of Zodwa Nyoni's THE DARKEST PART OF THE NIGHT

With Marina Carr's Girl on an Altar about to begin previews, Kiln Theatre announces the full cast for the world première of Zodwa Nyoni's The Darkest Part of the Night. Nancy Medina directs Brianna Douglas, Andrew French, James Clyde, Hannah Morrish, Lee Phillips and Nadia Williams. The production opens at Kiln Theatre on 21 July, with previews from 14 July, and runs until 13 August.

Zodwa Nyoni On The Darkest Part Of The Night:

"When we were growing up, my siblings and I didn't know that we were child carers. We had a sister with learning disabilities and we showed up in our routines, gave love and did our best everyday.

As I got older, I began to unpack what it meant to care and be a carer. I thought about my sister's experiences within our family and whether she'd felt seen and heard. I thought about the difficult interactions we'd had with public services from education, health care, policing and social services; and how they'd impacted on us. I thought about what happens to the things that go unsaid, but are still felt decades later.

Our experiences are intersectional. I can't speak about disability without mentioning race, class, ethnicity, culture, gender, religion and so on. Meeting with other Black and Asian families, I found shared worries and hopes for the future.

The play spans generations from the 1980s to present day because I wanted to examine what each family member understands of love from childhood to adulthood. To see how community, in this play Chapeltown (Leeds) shapes a family; and that marginalisation appears in new guises in ever-changing societies."

Cast: Brianna Douglas, Andrew French, James Clyde, Hannah Morrish, Lee Phillips, Nadia Williams

Directed by Nancy Medina; Designer Jean Chan; Lighting Designer Guy Hoare; Sound Designer Elena Pena; Casting Director Briony Barnett CDG; Movement Director Ingrid Mackinnon; Production Dramatherapist Samantha Adams

As Shirley and Dwight bury their mother, they remember their upbringing in 1980s Chapeltown, Leeds differently. In the height of racial discrimination, police brutality and poverty, the struggle for survival ripped through their family.

Dwight was discovering what it meant to be a young black boy with autism in a world determined never to understand him. Shirley was desperately trying to forge her own independence away from unfair expectations at school and home.

Now as adults, they need to bring together the fractured pieces of their past to move forward together.

Nancy Medina directs Zodwa Nyoni's gripping and heartfelt drama that explores the complexities and beauty of what it really means to care for one another.

Zodwa Nyoni is a playwright and poet. She was the 2014 Writer-in-Residence at the West Yorkshire Playhouse via the Channel 4 Playwrights' Scheme. She has previously been Apprentice Poet-in-Residence at Ilkely Literature Festival (2013), Leeds Kirkgate Market (2012) and Writer-in-Residence at I Love West Leeds Festival (2010). She was recently under commission as part of the Manchester Royal Exchange's New Stages Writing Initiative. She was also part of the 2015 Creative England iWrite Regional New Voices Initiative. Her plays include Duty (National Trust and Paines Plough), Carnival Chronicles (Leeds West Indian Carnival - also Director), Ode to Leeds (commissioned by West Yorkshire Playhouse), Weathered Estates (commissioned by Hull City of Culture) and Boi Boi is Dead (West Yorkshire Playhouse, tiata fahodzi and Watford Palace co-production). Her films include The Ancestors, On Belonging and Mahogany.

Nancy Medina directs. Medina is the winner of 2018 RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award and the Genesis Future Director Award. Credits include Moreno (Theatre503), Trouble in Mind (National Theatre), The Half God Of Rainfall (Fuel / Birmingham Rep / Kiln Theatre) The Laramie Project (Bristol Old Vic Theatre School), Two Trains Running (Royal & Derngate / ETT / RTST), Strange Fruit (Bush Theatre), Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Betties (Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama), When They Go Low (NT Connections / Sherman Theatre), Yellowman (Young Vic), Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It (GB Theatre), Curried Goat And Fish Fingers (Bristol Old Vic), Dogtag (Theatre West), Strawberry & Chocolate, Dutchman (Tobacco Factory Theatres) and Persistence Of Memory (Rondo Theatre). She is an acting tutor at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and Course Leader for a post 16 Professional Acting Diploma at Boomsatsuma.

Brianna Douglas plays Young Shirley. Her theatre includes Beyond These Walls (Northern Broadsides/ Sheffield Theatres), A Christmas Carol (Bolton Octagon), Advent Plays (Oldham Coliseum), Dead Certain, Unseemly Woman (Hope Mill Theatre), and Hamlet (Girl Gang/Hopemill Theatre). For television, her work includes Emmerdale and Coronation Street.

Andrew French plays Calvin / Leroy. For theatre, his work includes Jitney (Leeds Playhouse), Romeo and Juliet (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre), The Winter's Tale, Julius Caesar (RSC), Two Trains Running (ETT), While We're Here (Bush Theatre), The Flash of Mine, When Nobody Returns, This Flesh is Mine (Border Crossings), The Iphigenia Quartet (Gate Theatre), Bully Boy (Mercury Theatre Colchester), Boi Boi is Dead, The Jungle Book, Refugee Boy (West Yorkshire Playhouse), The Initiate, Our Teacher's a Troll (Paines Plough), Measure for Measure (Almeida Theatre), Monster (Royal Exchange Theatre), As You Like It (Wyndham's Theatre) and Reference to Salvador Dali (Arcola Theatre/Young Vic). For television, his work includes Temple, A Very English Scandal, Marvin Can't Fail, Capital, Perfect Parent and Primeval; and for film, Pretty Red Dress, Breaking the Bank, Artificial Horizon, Song for Marion Weapon, Exorcist - The Beginning and Dominion, Beyond Borders and Tailor of Panama.

James Clyde returns to the theatre to play Mr Campbell / Police Officer / Prison Officer / Mourner. He previously appeared in Days of Significance. His other theatre work includes The Cutting Edge (Arcola Theatre), Touch (Soho Theatre), In the Depths of Love (The Print Room), The God of Carnage (Nuffield Theatres), Dangerous Lady (Theatre Royal Stratford East), The Illusion (Southwark Playhouse), Hamlet (Young Vic), As You Like It (Manchester Royal Exchange), Twelfth Night (National Theatre), The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Jane Eyre (Shared Experience), and extensive work for the RSC including, Tamburlaine, Tartuffe, Timon of Athens, King Lear (also BAM), Cymbeline, and Matilda. For television, his work includes Black Earth Rising, Leonardo, Above Suspicion: Deadly Intent, Boudicca, London Bridge, Made in Heaven, Mr Thomas, Cluedo, Maigret and Between the Lines; and for film, Beauty, Anonymous, The Honeytrap, Cheese, Croupier, Your Night Tonight, Prick Up Your Ears and Glitch.

Hannah Morrish plays Anna / Mourner. Her theatre work includes All's Well That Ends Well (Guildford Shakespeare Company and Jermyn Street Theatre), Antony and Cleopatra (National Theatre), Coriolanus, Titus Andronicus, Julius Caesar (RSC), Arms and the Man (Watford Palace Theatre), Flowering Cherry (Finborough Theatre), and A Little Hotel on the Side (Theatre Royal Bath). For television, her work includes Father Brown and Call the Midwife, and for film, Magpie.

Lee Phillips plays Dwight. He is an Associate Artist of Access All Areas; and graduated from their Performance Making Diploma at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in 2014. His recent theatre work includes Fix Us (Edinburgh Fringe), unReal City (Brighton Dome with Access All Areas and Dreamthinkspeak), The Interrogation, Eye Queue Hear (Access All Areas), Viva The Live (ZU-UK theatre company), All Wrapped Up (Oily Cart UK tour), and The Trial (Access All Areas and Retz Theatre Company). He is a member of both the BareFace Collective and the collective duo Everyday Daylee. In 2019 Everyday Daylee performed their debut show #crazyfuturelove as part of the Occupy Festival at Battersea Arts Centre, and at various festivals and gigs - including Bubble Club and the Autism Arts Festival, University of Kent.

Nadia Williams plays Shirley / Josephine. For theatre, her work includes A Place at the Bridge, A Midsummer Night's Dream (Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory), Unfinished Business (Bristol Old Vic), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (UK tour), Top Girls, I'm Not Running (National Theatre), Recycled Stockings (Show of Strength), Raising Kamila, The Accident (Theatre West), Celebration (Show of Strength and Travelling Light Theatre), and Phaedra's Love (Bristol Old Vic and Barbican). For television, her work includes The Crown, Broadchurch, The Sparticle Mystery, Mistresses, Extras, and Losing It.

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