Bush Theatre: Cast Announced For #Chiaroscuro – Shiloh Coke, Preeya Kalidas, Anoushka Lucas, Gloria Onitiri- amplifying voices of WOC

Director Lynette Linton’s first production as Artistic Director of the Bush Theatre. Chiaroscuro will run from 31 August until 5 October.

With a cast including Shiloh Coke (Misty at the Bush Theatre and Trafalgar Studios, Emila at The Globe Theatre), Preeya Kalidas (Eastenders, BBC Asian Radio, Bend It Like Beckham), singer-songwriter Anoushka Lucas (Jesus Christ Superstar at Regents Park Open Air Theatre and whose debut album Dark Soul was released last week) and Gloria Onitiri (whose recent productions include NapoliBrooklyn, on national tour and Hadestown at the National Theatre).   Chiaroscuro will be the final production in the Passing the Batonseries, following the acclaimed revivals of Winsome Pinnock’s Leave Taking (2018) and Caryl Phillips’ Strange Fruit (2019) at the Bush Theatre.

Chiaroscuro (noun) the treatment of light and shade in drawing or painting.

The Story: Aisha, Yomi, Beth and Opal couldn’t be more different, but when Aisha hosts a dinner party, the friends soon discover that they’re all looking for an answer to the same question. Does it lie in Aisha’s childhood? Or in Beth and Opal’s new romance? Who will tell them who they really are?

What starts out as a friendly conversation between women, soon turns heated when Yomi reveals what she really thinks about Beth and Opal’s relationship.

Live music and spoken word collide in an explosive gig-theatre event that breathes new life into Scottish National Poet Jackie Kay’s 1986 masterpiece.

Directed by Lynette Linton (SweatRichard II), this bold reimagining explores the experiences of women of colour across generations and celebrates the many intersections of female identity from the 1980s to now and how women chose to identify themselves.

Jackie Kay was born and brought up in Scotland. The Adoption Papers (Bloodaxe) won the Forward Prize, a Saltire prize and a Scottish Arts Council Prize. Fiere was shortlisted for the Costa award and her novel Trumpet won the Guardian Fiction Award and was shortlisted for the IMPAC award. Red Dust Road (Picador) won the Scottish Book of the Year Award, and the London Book Award, and was shortlisted for the JR Ackerley prize. Her third collection of short stories, Reality, Reality, was praised by The Guardian as ‘rank[ing] among the best of the genre’. She was awarded an MBE in 2006 and made a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2002. Her book of stories Wish I Was Here won the Decibel British Book Award. She also writes for children and her book Red Cherry Red (Bloomsbury) won the Clype award. She has written extensively for stage and television. Her plays, Manchester Lines (produced by Manchester Library Theatre) and The New Maw Broon Monologues (produced by Glasgay), were a great success. Her most recent collection, Bantam, was published in 2017 to critical acclaim. She is Chancellor of the University of Salford and Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University. Jackie Kay was named Scots Makar—the National Poet for Scotland—in March 2016.

Kay said ‘When Lynette Linton called me to ask if the Bush could revive Chiaroscuro and if she could direct it, I was overjoyed. I’m looking forward to this revival of Chiaroscuro refocusing our gaze on Britain today and for the opportunity to amplify the voices of women of colour.’

Lynette Linton took over as Artistic Director of the Bush Theatre in 2019.  She was previously Resident Assistant Director at the Donmar Warehouse and Associate Director at the Gate Theatre from 2016 to 2017 where she set up the Young Associate company. She recently directed the Olivier nominated UK premiere of Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer prize winning play Sweat (Donmar Warehouse) which transferred to the West End and Richard II (Shakespeare’s Globe).  As a writer her credits include Hashtag Lightie (Arcola Theatre), Chicken Palace and Step (Theatre Royal Stratford East).

Her other directing credits include world premiere productions of Assata Taught Me, (Gate Theatre) Function (National Youth Theatre), This Is (Arts Ed), Indenture (Dark Horse Festival), Naked (Vault Festival 2015), and a revival of This Wide Night (Albany Theatre). She was also co-director on Chicken Palace (Theatre Royal Stratford East).

Lynette Linton said ‘To revive Chiaroscuro is not only a great honour but well overdue. We are standing on the shoulders of giants and Jackie Kay is definitely one of those giants. I am so pleased to be directing this production as my first show at the Bush.’

Shiloh Coke is currently starring in Small Island at the National Theatre, directed by Rufus Norris on the Oliver stage. She previously appeared in Arinze Kene’s critically acclaimed show Misty at the Bush, which transferred to the Trafalgar Studios, for which she was also an MD and Musician.  Other stage credits include Emilia (Shakespeare’s Globe), The Tempest (Donmar Warehouse/ St Anne’s Warehouse New York), Julius Caesar (Donmar Warehouse) andHenry IV (Donmar Warehouse).

On screen Shiloh will soon appear in Aisling Bea’s new comedy This Way Up for Channel 4.

Preeya Kalidas’ television and film credits include: C4 Britz alongside Riz Ahmed, BBC England Expects with Steven Mackintosh, C4’s Jump BoyEast is East, BBC’s Casualty, BBC’s Doctors, BBC’s Goggle eyes, BBC’s Banglatown Banquet, international box office hit film Bend It Like Beckham and Bollywood Queen starring with James McAvoy.

On stage Preeya originated the leading role of Priya in AR Rahmans Bombay Dreams produced by Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber at London’s Victoria Apollo Theatre to rave reviews. After spending a year in the show Preeya was offered a leading series regular leading role in the Jed Mercurio’s critically acclaimed BBC series Bodies alongside Keith Allen and Max Beesley.    She then played the leading role of Carmen in BBC’s Bafta nominated Bollywood Carmen which was broadcast live on BBC Three. It was then that Preeya returned to The Royal Court Theatre where she played the leading role, Reema, in Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti’s Khandan.

Most recently Preeya played one of the female leads – Patty Di Marco – in the Original London Cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School of Rock and Aisha in BBC3’s Comedy Pilot Hounslow Diaries. Preeya also hosts her own radio show on BBC Asian Network every Sunday 1-3pm.

Anoushka Lucas is a singer, songwriter, composer and actress. Her music has been championed on Radio 2, where she has appeared on The Jamie Cullum show and BBC Introducing, and she was the inaugural winner of Jazz FM’s Love Supreme Competition in 2013. She has sold out shows at Cheltenham Jazz Festival, the 606, and Bush Hall to name a few, and in the past year supported Tom Oddell, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Ashley Henry. Her debut album Dark Soul is released on 12 July. As a theatre composer, Anoushka co-composed an original score for Klook’s Last Stand (Park Theatre, 2014/NAMT Festival 2017) with Omar Lyefook, and The Etienne Sisters (Theatre Royal Stratford East, 2015) with Sheila Atim and Nikki Yeoh – both with books by Che Walker. Anoushka also composed and performed in Sparks (2018, Edinburgh Festival, voted Best Musical of the Fringe) by Jessica Butcher. As an actor, Anoushka played Mary Magdalene in the Olivier Award winning production of Jesus Christ Superstar (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, 2016) and appeared in Sparks (Vault Festival/Edinburgh Festival/High Tide Festival 2018).

Gloria Onitiri’s theatre productions include NapoliBrooklyn (National Tour/Park Theatre), Hadestown (National Theatre), Brighton Rock (National Tour/Pilot Theatre), 101 Dalmatians (Birmingham Rep), Caroline, or Change (Chichester Festival Theatre), Taming of the Shrew (Globe Theatre), The Grinning Man (Bristol Old Vic), The Stripper (St James Theatre), Clybourne Park (National Tour), Wrong Songs for Christmas (National Theatre), Home Theatre UK (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Green Living (Old Vic/New Voices), Jack & the Beanstalk (Park Theatre), Egusi Soup (Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds), The Bodyguard (The Adelphi Theatre), The Tempest (Bath Theatre Royal), Charlotte’s Web (Polka Theatre), Takeaway (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Amphibians (Offstage Theatre), Hurried Steps (New Shoes Theatre), The Lion King (The Lyceum) and Been So Long (Young Vic).  Her television appearances include Grace Under Pressure (Sky Arts), Doctors (BBC), Splatalot (BBC/ABC/YTV), The Window (IWC Media/Channel 4), Porgy and Bess (BBC Opera), Bad Girls (Shed Productions) and Grass (BBC).  On film she has appeared in Resurrecting the Street Walker (Scala Films).

More info/book tickets. Read our interview with Lynette Linton here

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