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Wright joins forces with Cherkaoui for Congo

Published March 22, 2013

Director Joe Wright will reunite with two former collaborators, actor Daniel Kaluuya and award-winning choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, for his forthcoming production at the Young Vic theatre A Season In The Congo.

Currently appearing in award-winning film director Wright’s theatrical debut production Trelawny Of The Wells at the Donmar Warehouse, Kaluuya will join Olivier Award-winner Joseph Mydell and the previously announced Chiwetel Ejiofor in Aimé Césaire’s retelling of a vibrant nation’s turbulent first year of freedom.

Charting events from the 1960 Congo rebellion and assassination of the political leader Patrice Lumumba (Ejiofor), A Season In The Congo is told in three turbulent acts. The production, which plays from 6 July to 10 August, marks the UK premiere of the epic play following its world premiere in 1967.

Kaluuya, who won Critics’ Circle and Evening Standard Awards for his role in the Royal Court’s Sucker Punch, will play Mokutu. As well as his critically acclaimed stage appearances, the young actor is becoming a well-known face on screen with credits on series including Skins, Black Mirror, Psychoville and Doctor Who.

Royal Shakespeare Company regular Mydell, whose previous credits include Breakfast With Mugabe at the Soho theatre, The Treatment at the Royal Court and the National Theatre’s Angels In America, for which he won an Olivier Award, will play former Congolese President Kala Lubu.

Cherkaoui joins the company following his work on Wright’s acclaimed 2012 innovative movie take on Anna Karenina. Famed for his eclectic work, Cherkaoui’s credits include Les Ballets C. De La B and collaboration with Akram Khan, Zero Degrees. Two of his most successful works have been collaborations with artist Antony Gormley; Sutra has been touring since its world premiere in 2008 and Babel (Words) was awarded an Olivier Award in 2011. An Associate Artist at Sadler’s Wells, where much of his work has been seen, Cherkaoui’s new work Puz/zle will open next month.

Also joining A Season In The Congo are actors Lydie Alberto, Nandi Bhebhe, Brian Bovell, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Kurt Egyiawan, Joan Iyiola, Josépha Madoki, Sandra Reid, Ira Mandela Siobhan and Oliver Tida Tida.