Tricycle autumn of premieres explore modern London

Published August 10, 2009

The Tricycle theatre will premiere new plays by Roy Williams, Kwame Kwei-Armah and Bola Agbaje in its autumn season examining life and society in 21st century London.

The Not Black And White season, which runs from 8 October until 19 December, will see the three new plays examining the prison system, the mayoralty and immigration performed in repertoire.

Williams’s Category B is directed by Paulette Randall and set in a Category B prison where Saul rules over a wing but is looking for a new number two. With new inmates flooding in, everyone is feeling the heat.

Williams’s work was last seen at the Tricycle theatre in 2008, when the Royal Shakespeare Company staged Days Of Significance at the Kilburn venue. His other plays include Sing Yer Heart Out For The Lads, Lift Off, Clubland and Fallout, which was later filmed by Channel 4. Randall has previously directed August Wilson’s Radio Golf and Gem Of The Ocean at the Tricycle theatre.

Kwei-Armah explores the idea of a black mayoral candidate in Seize The Day, which he also directs. A playwright, actor and cultural commentator, Kwei-Armah’s work was previously seen at the Tricycle theatre in 2008 when Let There Be Love ran at the venue. His other work includes the Elmina’s Kitchen, Fix Up and Statement Of Regret, which were all staged at the National Theatre. Elmina’s Kitchen received a Laurence Olivier Award nomination and transferred to the West End.

Detaining Justice is the latest piece from Agbaje, whose Gone Too Far! won a Laurence Olivier Award in 2008. Directed by Indhu Rubasingham it follows a man’s fight for asylum. For former Government Prosecutor Mr Cole, this will be his first case for the defence. Is he really the man to help?

Commenting on the new season of plays, the Tricycle theatre’s Artistic Director Nicholas Kent said: “Three years ago the Tricycle launched a four month season with a black ensemble company premiering three plays chronicling the African-American experience in the 20th century. As we approach the end of the first decade of the 21st century and, across London, black and Asian children outnumber white British children by about six to four, I thought it important and challenging to look at the society in which we live from the perspective of three leading black writers.”

Before the Not Black And White season launches at the Tricycle theatre, the venue hosts comedian Mark Thomas’s new show It’s The Stupid Economy (21 September to 3 October) and Simon Stephens’s play Pornography, set during one life-changing week in July 2005, which opened last week and runs until 29 August.

MA