Naiambana in Caretaker role in Northampton

Steve Orme

Patrice Naiambana will play Davies in Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker, a Northampton Royal and Derngate and Bristol Old Vic co-production.

Describing himself as an “African performing artist from Sierra Leone”, Naiambana appeared in Inua Ellams’s Barber Shop Chronicles at the National Theatre earlier in 2017.

His previous work includes for the Royal Shakespeare Company the title role in Kathryn Hunter’s Othello in 2009, Warwick the Kingmaker in Michael Boyd’s Histories Cycle ensemble and Aslan in Adrian Noble’s The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe in 1998.

Naiambana said, “for me, Pinter’s not just a great writer but a prophetic one. This great tragicomedy reads as if it’s been freshly minted for 2017. The combination of vulnerability and aggression in the homeless Davies and the bitter wrangling between the brothers who offer him a kind of asylum rings out of the play with startling clarity.

“Pinter allows you to discover new meanings and new resonance in his plays no matter when or where they’re performed. I’m looking forward to working with (director) Chris (Haydon) and seeing where it takes us.”

The production will be Haydon’s first since leaving London’s Gate Theatre. He said, “I’m thrilled that Patrice will be playing Davies. He’ll have a unique take on the role—when we first talked about it I was struck by the depth with which he personally connected with the play and the insights he brings to it.

“Patrice’s remarkable stage presence makes him the ideal person to embody the humour and vulnerability of the part.”

The Caretaker opens at Bristol Old Vic from 9 until 30 September. It transfers to Nuffield Southampton Theatres from 10 until 14 October and can be seen on the Northampton Royal stage from 17 until 28 October. Full casting will be announced in August.