Ward's play, first seen in 1938, is set in Chicago between 1922 and 1933 and follows the fortunes of the Mason family as they steer a course through post World War One racism and the Great Depression.
Helmed by Almeida artistic director Michael Attenborough, the cast for Big White Fog includes Ayesha Antoine (who plays Caroline), Tony Armatrading (Daniel Rogers), Martin Barron (Patrolman), Aaron Brown (Nathan Piszer), Lenora Crichlow (Claudine), Clint Dyer (Percy Mason), Jenny Jules (Ella), Tunji Kasim (Lester), Al Matthews (Count Strawder), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Wanda), Novella Nelson (Martha Brooks), Susan Salmon (Juanita), Danny Sapani (Victor Mason), Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Older Phil/Count Cotton), Gynn Sweet (Bailiff) and Tony Turner (Marks/Lieutenant).
Crichlow's stage credits include 93.2FM at the Royal Court, while Juels appeared in the Tricycle's African-American season.
Nelson was last seen on the London stage in A Raisin in the Sun, and her Broadway credits include Having Our Say, The Little Foxes, Caesar and Cleopatra, Purlie and Hello Dolly! Sapani's credits include The Overwhelming at the National. Louisiana-born Ward was the sixth child of eleven siblings. His father – born into slavery – was a schoolmaster, and following the break-up of his family, Ward traveled on the railroad, performing odd jobs and later settling in Utah where he was jailed for selling bootleg gin. After winning second prize in a writing competition, Ward joined the Writers' Workshop in Chicago, where he died in 1983.
The Almeida production is the first time Big White Fog has been produced outside America.
For more on Big White Fog, which is booking until June 30, call (0)20 7288 4999.