News: Choir Boy to be revived at Bristol Old Vic

Nancy Medina has announced the cast for her first production at Bristol Old Vic, which will feature Terique Jarrett, Jyuddah Jaymes, Michael Ahomka-Lindsay and Khalid Daley.

They will star in Choir Boy, which is the first major UK revival of the play, written by Tarell Alvin McCraney.

It is directed by Medina and is described as a coming of age story that follows Pharus, a young queer, Black student, leading the legendary gospel choir at his elite all-boys prep school in America. 

Jarrett, whose credits include Motown the Musical, plays Pharus, with Jaymes, who was in Romeo and Juliet at the Almeida, as his roommate AJ. 

Ahomka-Lindsay, most recently in Newsies, plays David, with Daley, whose credits include Hamilton, as JR. 

The role of Bobby is played by Alistair Nwachukwu, a recent graduate of LAMDA. The cast is completed by Daon Broni as Headmaster Marrow and Martin Turner in the role of teacher Mr Pendleton. 

Medina said: “At every step of putting our production of Choir Boy together, there’s been a palpable feeling of joy and giddiness – because it offers such rich, three-dimensional characters for young Black men to perform. It provides what is still a rare opportunity to delve deep into gorgeous characters and explore their honest relationships through really well-crafted storytelling.”

Medina added: “Tarell Alvin McCraney’s script never skips a beat, getting to the essence of what human connection means. I’ve known this play for a few years and during that time society has shifted the conversation about identity, equity and social justice on quite significantly. Woven through this joyous play, current conversations take on new meaning, as our tremendously talented cast and creative team bring it to life, I hope Bristol audiences fall in love with Choir Boy as much as I have.”

The creative team includes Femi Temowo as musical director, designer Max Johns, lighting designer Simisola Majekodunmi and sound designer Donato Wharton.

The creative team is complete by movement director Ingrid Mackinnon, drama therapist Samantha Adams, dialect coach Aundrea Fudge, casting director Julia Horan, fight director Kev McCurdy, associate director Tatenda Shamiso and costumer supervisor Sophia Khan. Bristol Old Vic executive director Charlotte Reeves said the first production from a new artistic director was “a really special moment for any theatre”. 

“The response to Nancy’s first season – from new and existing audiences – has been generous, warm and welcoming, marking the beginning of a bright and transformational future for Bristol Old Vic. I know we are in for a treat this autumn with Choir Boy as Nancy brings her infectious enthusiasm, energy and heart into the centre of this beautiful theatre to make it really sing. And we’re inviting you all to be part of that moment with us,” she added.

It runs from October 12 to November 11, with press night on October 18.

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