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London premiere for Fishburne’s first play

Published 8 March 2010

Riff Raff, the debut play by Hollywood actor Laurence Fishburne, will receive its UK premiere at London’s Arcola theatre next month.

The drama, which runs from 6-24 April at the Dalston venue, is the story of half-brothers Mike “20-20” and Billy “Torch”, who, on Halloween, find themselves holed up in an abandoned crack den with three kilos of smack, blood on their hands and New York’s biggest drug lord hunting for them. When Mike calls an old friend for help, stories are swapped, loyalties are tested and the bleakness of their criminal lives threatens to envelop them forever.

Fishburne wrote the first draft of Riff Raff in just eight days in 1994, during downtime while filming a movie. When the one-act three-hander was first staged, by New York’s Circle Repertory Theater in 1995, he both directed and starred in the world premeire, opposite rapper Heavy D.

Fishburne is best known for his acting work. On stage, he won a Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World Award for his 1992 performance in August Wilson’s Two Trains Running. On screen his best known performances include The Matrix trilogy, Boyz N The Hood, Event Horizon and What’s Love Got To Do With It, for which he received an Oscar nomination. He can currently be seen playing Dr Raymond Langston in hit American crime drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Casting for the Arcola theatre production of Riff Raff is yet to be announced, though the director will be Bill Buckhurst, whose previous London credits include Vegemite Tales (Riverside Studios) and Penetrator (Theatre 503).

MA

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