Casting Complete for London Debut of August Wilson's Radio Golf

News   Casting Complete for London Debut of August Wilson's Radio Golf Radio Golf, the final entry in the late August Wilson's ten-play cycle that examines the African-American experience in the last century, will make its British premiere at London's Tricycle Theatre, beginning performances Oct. 2, with an official opening on Oct. 6 for a run to Nov. 1.

Danny Sapani
Danny Sapani

The Tricycle has previously staged several of the plays in the series, including Joe Turner's Come and Gone, Gem of the Ocean, The Piano Lesson, Two Trains Running and King Hedley II, the latter three of which were directed by Paulette Randall, who directs again here.

Each play of the cycle tackles a different decade; Radio Golf is set in 1990s Pittsburgh, when Tiger Woods has already become a hero to African-Americans. The play chronicles the rise of Harmond Wilks, an upwardly mobile, charming and powerful property developer with political ambitions. The revitalization of the decrepit Hill District seems a surefire path to his becoming the city's first black mayor, but a suspect radio station investment and the slated demolition of a historic building force Wilks to question the pathway to progress.

Harmond Wilks will be played Danny Sapani, whose stage credits include Big White Fog for the Almeida Theatre, The Overwhelming, His Dark Materials, Antony and Cleopatra, The Machine Wreckers and Richard II for the National Theatre, To the Green Fields Beyond for the Donmar Warehouse and Neverland for the Royal Court. He will return to the Royal Court immediately after completing the run of Radio Golf to appear in Tarell Alvin McCraney's Wig Out!, directed by Dominic Cooke. His screen credits include "The Bill," "Holby Blue" and "The Oxford Murders."

The cast will also feature Roger Griffiths (Roosevelt Hicks), Joseph Marcell (Elder Joseph Barlow), Julie Saunders (Mame Wilks) and Ray Shell (Sterling Johnson).

Griffiths' theatre credits include England is De Place for Me at the Albany Theatre, Oh Babylon and Job Rocking for Riverside Studios, Macbeth for the National Theatre and Black Poppies for the National Theatre Studio. His screen credits include "Batman Begins," "Buffalo Soldiers," "Doctor Who" and "My Family." Marcell was recently seen at the Tricycle in the return run of Kwame Kwei-Armah's Let There Be Love; he also was part of the company of the theatre's 2006 African-American season, appearing in Walk Hard Talk Loud and Gem of the Ocean. Other recent stage credits include Breakfast with Mugabe at Bath Ustinov Theatre, Coriolanus and Under the Black Flag at Shakespeare's Globe and numerous productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company. He also works regularly with the Folger Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C. He is best known on television for playing Geoffrey in the long-running series "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air."

Saunders has appeared in Goldhawk Road and Raising Fires for the Bush Theatre and Troilus and Cressida, The Last Days of Don Juan and A Woman of No Importance for the Royal Shakespeare Company plus numerous productions for the Citizen's Theatre in Glasgow. Her screen credits include a regular role in "Emmerdale" as D.I. Kara Warren and guest leads in "The Bill," "Between the Lines" and "The Chief."

Shell's recent stage credits include Gone with the Wind at the New London Theatre, Dancing in the Streets at the Cambridge Theatre, 125th Street at the Shaftesbury Theatre and The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre. His previous Tricycle credits are Blues for Mr. Charlie, Wine in the Wilderness, The Amen Corner, Two Trains Running, Ain't Misbehavin’ and Iced, the last of which he also wrote. His screen credits include "Hotel," "Too Much Sun" and "The Velvet Goldmine."

Director Paulette Randall, who was previously artistic director of Talawa Theater Company from 2003-2005, has also directed What's In The Cat for Contact Theatre, Manchester and the Royal Court Upstairs, Funny Black Women On The Edge and Shoot To Win for the Theatre Royal Stratford East and The Amen Corner for Bristol Old Vic.

To book tickets contact the box office at 020 7328 1000 or visit www.tricycle.co.uk.

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