Lenny Henry's back with another classic Fences at Theatre Royal Bath
Lenny Henry returns to the stage next week to star as one of American drama's most unforgettable characters in August Wilson's powerful classic, Fences, which opens its UK tour at the Theatre Royal Bath on Wednesday.
Directed by Paulette Randall, the cast also features Terence Maynard, Colin McFarlane, Tanya Moodie, Peter Bankole and Ashley Zhangazha.
Lenny Henry last performed at the Theatre Royal Bath back in 2009 when he starred as Othello, making his stage acting debut in Northern Broadsides' touring production with a performance which was a huge hit with audiences and critics.
Fences is one of the greatest American dramas of the 20th century and winner of a Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
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Set in 1950s Pennsylvania, before the Civil Rights movement, it is the story of what happens when a strong man is robbed of his dreams and of a family trying to hold together despite the odds, a universal story which will touch a chord in every human heart. Playing the towering central character of tragic hero Troy Maxson, Lenny follows in a distinguished line of performers which includes James Earl Jones, Laurence Fishburne and Denzel Washington.
Once a gifted athlete, Troy Maxson was denied his chance at the big time by the policies of segregation; he now struggles through daily life in a dead-end job in Pittsburgh. A proud, gregarious and hard-working breadwinner, he is loved and respected by his family and friends; but Troy is also a stubborn hypocrite, blighted by his past and resentful of a world he believes has denied him chances at every turn.
Fearful of history repeating itself, he takes out his frustrations on Cory, his ambitious, sports-obsessed son, and Rose, his compassionate, straight-talking and loyal wife. The complex dynamics that both tear families apart and hold them together are laid bare as Troy, blind to his own mistakes, single-mindedly risks everything he holds dear.
Since Othello Lenny's stage success has continued in the National Theatre's 2011 production of The Comedy of Errors.
One of Britain's best-loved entertainers whose television credits span more than 30 years and include The Lenny Henry Show, Chef!, Hope and Glory, Three of a Kind and Tiswas, Lenny is also well-known as one of the founding figures of Comic Relief. His numerous awards include the BBC British Personality of the Year and the Edric Connor Inspiration to Black People Award.
Fences is produced by Theatre Royal Bath Productions, whose recent productions include; Relatively Speaking starring Felicity Kendal and Kara Tointon, which returns to Bath in April before the West End, The Judas Kiss starring Rupert Everett, which played Bath last October and is now running in the West End, Quartermaine's Terms starring Rowan Atkinson, which played Bath last month prior to the West End and a national tour of Abigail's Party, which visits Bath in April.
Fences appears at the Theatre Royal Bath from Wednesday, February 20 to Saturday, March 2. Tickets are available on 01225 448844 or online at www.theatreroyal.org.uk
This week we have two tickets to give away for the performance at 7.30pm on Thursday, February 21. All you have to do to stand a chance of winning is to answer the following question, put your answer on a postcard and send it with your name and address to Theatre Royal Competition, The Bath Chronicle, Westpoint, James Street West, Bath BA1 2DA
The first correct answer out of the hat next Monday morning will get the tickets.
The question is: in what Shakespearean production did Lenny Henry star?