The first British production to set The Glass Menagerie in the African-American community is to run at the Watford Palace Theatre and the Arcola in London.
Its director, Femi Elufowoju Jr, said he wanted to “emancipate the text from traditionally imposed expectations”.
Elufowoju Jr previously directed The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives at the Arcola.
The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams, will run at the Watford Palace Theatre from May 2 to 18, and at the Arcola from May 23 to July 13.
Elufowoju Jr said: “The play seems so pertinent to our current times – demonstrating the universality of the human condition when governed by economic limitations and a harsh impoverished climate. I pursue work which speaks to an all-inclusive audiences and am excited to emancipate the text from traditionally-imposed expectations and explore the world of a play with universal resonance for every creed, race and religion in our country and the world at large today.”
According to the show’s producers, the staging marks the first British production to set the play in the African American community, with most productions casting actors that reflect the playwright’s own ethnicity.
The cast includes Michael Abubakar, Lesley Ewen, Charlie Maher and Naima Swaleh, who makes her professional debut in the play.