Custom Search 1

Sir Lenny Henry to play Richard Pryor in one-man play

NEW WORK: Lenny Henry

SIR LENNY Henry is to take on the role of legendary US comedian Richard Pryor in a one-man play he has written himself.

The play, Richard Pryor on Fire will be staged at the National Theatre in London in 2020.
Paulette Randall, who directed Sir Lenny in a 2013 production of August Wilson's play Fences, will direct him in the play.

Pryor is considered a pioneering stand-up comic who paved the way for other black comedians. His comedic style often explored themes of politics, race relations and his own struggles with drug and alcohol addiction.

Richard Pryor on Fire is one of many new productions announced by the National Theatre on Wednesday as they unveiled their new season.

Others include an adaptation of Small Island, Andrea Levy's prize-winning novel about the Windrush generation.

Speaking to Chortle about taking on the role of Richard Pryor, Henry said: "I'm a huge fan of Richard Pryor - ever since I heard Is It Something I Said? being played out the big speakers at Tapes Galore on the Edgware Road in the mid 1970s.

"I'd never heard a black comedian be so fearless in terms of language, subject matter and raw anger. The audience's reaction is phenomenal."

The production is directed by Paulette Randall, who previously worked with Henry on the 2013 West End production of Fences, and has been developed with Michael Buffong, artistic director of the Talawa Theatre Company, and playwright Ben Power, deputy artistic director at The National.

Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading the app.

Facebook Comments