Ed Hughes, Patrick Robinson and Peter De Jersey star in Rough Crossings, the new stage adaptation of Simon Schama’s best selling history of the abolition of the slave trade, which comes to Lyric Hammersmith from 25 September-13 October.
Hughes most recently worked in London in Lovely And Misfit at Trafalgar Studios, while his other London theatre credits include the Royal Shakespeare Company production of The Canterbury Tales Parts I & II, Hamlet at the Old Vic, The Little Foxes at the Donmar Warehouse and Finding The Sun at the National.
Robinson is a familiar face to Casualty viewers for his role as Ash in the long-running television series. On stage, he has worked frequently with the RSC, most recently as Don Pedro in Marianne Elliott’s production of Much Ado About Nothing, which transferred to the Novello last year. Other London theatre credits include Festen at the Almeida and Lyric, Gem Of The Ocean at the Tricycle, Mappa Mundi at the National and Dangerous Corner at the Garrick.
De Jersey’s extensive CV includes many roles for the RSC, including its Gunpowder season at Trafalgar Studios in 2006, plus work for the National and the Open Air. On television he has appeared in Holby City, Doctors, Sugar Rush and Dalziel And Pascoe.
Caryl Phillips’s fast-paced stage adaptation of Schama’s book focuses on the story of captured slave Thomas Peters (Robinson), sold to a plantation owner in America, and British naval officer and abolitionist John Clarkson (Hughes). As the American War of Independence reaches its climax, Peters meets fellow slave David George (De Jersey), who encourages him to join the British troops against the Americans in a bid for freedom. Meanwhile in England, Clarkson begins a campaign to restore freed slaves to a new colony in Africa.
A Headlong Theatre production, Rough Crossings is directed by Artistic Director Rupert Goold (The Tempest at the Novello, Faustus at the Hampstead, the forthcoming Macbeth at the Gielgud). The rest of the cast comprises Peter Bankole, Miranda Colchester, Ian Drysdale, Dave Fishley, Andy Frame, Rob Hastie, Dawn Hope, Mark Jax, Jessica Lloyd, Michael Matus, Wunmi Mosaku, Ben Okafor and Daniel Williams.
The production marks the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in the Commonwealth.