It’s 1973 and the West Indies have spectacularly beaten England at their own game, in their own backyard.
Shakie, an 18-year-old super-savvy wheeler-dealer, is in his element – and not just because of the cricket. Life is good: his furniture business is making serious money and he owns a flat on the King’s Road, the epicentre of everything that’s cool. Moreover, his best friend Stumpie has come up with a plan to crack the booming music industry together – the possibilities are endless so when Shakie’s ex-lover Jackie arrives at the Chelsea flat, the trio toast the future.
The champagne is flowing and ambition is running sky high – but how far will they go, and who will they sacrifice, in their quest to be rich beyond their wildest dreams?
The Death of a Black Man received its world premiere at Hampstead in 1975. 46 years on, Alfred Fagon’s darkly compelling drama, with its witty and complex characters, remains compulsive viewing today.
Alfred Fagon was a soldier, boxing champion, a welder, actor, poet and playwright. The leading theatre award for Black British writers is named in his honour: alfredfagonaward.co.uk
Nickcolia King-N’da (Venice Preserved, Royal Shakespeare Company) will play the role of Shakie, Toyin Omari-Kinch (War Horse, National Theatre) will play the role of Stumpie and Natalie Simpson (Three Sisters, National Theatre) will play the role of Jackie.
Dawn Walton makes her Hampstead Theatre debut. She was the Founder Artistic Director of Eclipse Theatre. Her most recent productions include The Gift (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Red Dust Road (NT Scotland) and Black Men Walking (Royal Court).
Recommended age guidance: 16+.