One Night in Miami’s regional première in Nottingham

Published: 2 June 2019
Reporter: Steve Orme

Matt Henry (Sam Cooke), Conor Glean (Cassius Clay), Miles Yekinni (Jim Brown) and Christopher Colquhoun (Malcolm X) in rehearsal for One Night in Miami…

Nottingham Playhouse artistic director Adam Penford will continue his programming of politically charged productions that address societal issues of race and class with Kemp Power’s One Night in Miami….

Penford, who staged Mufaro Makubika’s Shebeen in 2018 which featured race riots in Nottingham 60 years previously, said of One Night in Miami…, “I’m delighted that Nottingham Playhouse has been chosen to present the UK regional première of this astonishing play, which has been acclaimed by audiences across the globe.

“This fictionalised account of four black icons in the 1960s, set against the backdrop of the civil rights movement, has a huge amount to say about contemporary society. Kemp’s incredible writing is hilarious, heart-wrenching and compelling.

“The art deco-inspired set design is beautiful and director Matthew Xia has assembled a first-rate cast; I guarantee that Matt Henry singing Sam Cooke’s music will be an unforgettable experience.”

A fictional account based on true events, One Night in Miami… focuses on four friends, all on the cusp of becoming legends: newly crowned heavyweight champion Cassius Clay (Conor Glean), activist Malcolm X (Christopher Colquhoun), American football star turned actor Jim Brown (Miles Yekinni) and soul singer Sam Cooke (Matt Henry).

Completing the cast, Oseloka Obi and Nottingham actor Andre Squire play members of the Nation of Islam’s security troop, protecting the four men against the realities of the world outside their motel room.

One Night in Miami… runs at Nottingham Playhouse from Friday 7 until Saturday 22 June. It then transfers to Bristol Old Vic from 25 until 29 June and HOME Manchester from 2 until 5 July.