Broadway transfer on look-out for British ‘new, black talent’
Published Thursday 23 April 2009 at 15:15
An all-black Broadway production of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, starring James Earl Jones, is transferring to the West End this autumn and has launched a search for a UK creative team from “non-traditional” backgrounds.
The show, which was a major hit during its 20-week run in New York last year, will have a part US, part UK-based cast, but is looking for an all-British crew with a focus on “new, black talent”.
The show’s US director Debbie Allen is visiting the UK in June to step up her search for the West End team.
Producer Stephen C Byrd told The Stage: “Debbie’s mandate is that she is looking for people who need an advantage, ie, people of colour who have not had an opportunity to work in the industry before.
“We try to subscribe to giving anyone an opportunity who has talent. We’re looking to bring the show over in the fall [autumn], but we haven’t firmed up the theatre yet.
“It will be a major West End theatre and we’re looking to replicate what we did in the States, where we were the biggest grossing play on Broadway last year.”
He stressed that the UK production would have an all-new creative team, who would re-imagine the show for the West End. “We want a whole new set, a whole new sound, a whole new look,” he explained.
Phylicia Rashad will be the other performer coming over from the US staging, while Byrd said he was in talks with Adrian Lester to take on the part of Brick, played by Terrence Howard in the New York staging.
The role of Maggie has not yet been cast.
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