Topdog/Underdog, with Mos Def and Jeffrey Wright, Opens in London Aug. 11

News   Topdog/Underdog, with Mos Def and Jeffrey Wright, Opens in London Aug. 11
 
Suzan-Lori Parks' Topdog/Underdog will have its day in London on Aug. 11, when the Pulitzer Prize-winning play opens at the Royal Court. Previews, under the direction of George C. Wolfe, began on Aug. 6.
Mos Def (L) as Booth and Jeffrey Wright as Lincoln in the Public production of Topdog/Underdog.
Mos Def (L) as Booth and Jeffrey Wright as Lincoln in the Public production of Topdog/Underdog. Photo by Michal Daniel

Jeffrey Wright and Mos Def will recreate the two feuding brothers that they played on Broadway. London theatregoers who want to catch their vaunted chemistry and showmanship will have to hurry—the production will stay at the Royal Court only until Aug. 30.

As on Broadway, Mos Def will play Booth, a hopeful three card monte master, to Wright's Lincoln, who works at a side show which employs him as a shooting gallery target, dressed up like his presidential namesake. Searching for direction and affection while living in a decrepit boarding house room, the siblings play out the symbolic and surreal power play set up by their weighted names.

Parks is the first African-American female playwright to win the Pulitzer. She was also nominated for a Tony Award. Her other plays include In the Blood, The America Play and Venus.

Wolfe has done a lot of London work lately. Last year, he directed Elaine Stritch in her London production of her solo show Elaine Stritch at Liberty. This fall, he will direct Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori's new musical, Caroline, or Change.

Earlier this year, Mos Def executed an Obie-winning turn in Parks' Fucking A at The Public Theater. The show closed on April 6.

Topdog plays Mondays through Saturday at 7:30 PM, with 3:30 PM matinees on Aug. 16, 23, 28 and 30. Aug. 19 will bring a sign interpreted performance.

Mos Def (L) as Booth and Jeffrey Wright as Lincoln in the Public production of <i>Topdog/Underdog</i>.
Mos Def (L) as Booth and Jeffrey Wright as Lincoln in the Public production of Topdog/Underdog. Photo by Michal Daniel
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