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Lenny Henry on the Olivier Awards red carpet (photo: Helen Maybanks)

Henry builds Fences in London

Published March 15, 2013

The Lenny Henry-led production of August Wilson’s Tony Award-winning drama Fences will open at the Duchess theatre for a limited 13-week season later this year following its acclaimed run at the Theatre Royal Bath.

Actor and comedian Henry, whose theatre credits include The Comedy Of Errors at the National Theatre and Othello at the Trafalgar Studios, plays the role of Troy Maxson, a once gifted athlete who was denied his turn at the big time and now struggles through daily life in Pittsburgh. Resentful of the world he believes has wronged him, he takes out his anger on his sports-obsessed son and loyal wife.

Set between the Korean and Vietnam wars, Wilson’s story of a family trying to hold itself together will play from 19 June (press night 26 June) to 14 September.

Directed by Paulette Randall, whose London theatre credits include Gem Of The Ocean at the Tricycle theatre and Blest Be The Tie at the Royal Court theatre, Fences was described by The Telegraph’s Charles Spencer as “a cracking production of a play which, despite its verbosity, achieves many passages of searching psychological insight and shattering dramatic power” when it opened at the Theatre Royal Bath in February.

The announcement follows news of two more West End transfers to arrive at the Duchess theatre in the coming months. The National Theatre’s production of Alan Bennett’s Untold Stories will play from 22 March to 15 June and the Henry Goodman-led The Resistible Rise Of Arturo Ui will play from 18 September to 7 December following a successful run at the Chichester Festival Theatre last year.