The Old Vic announced further casting and the creative team for Jitney, written by August Wilson and directed by Tinuke Craig.Following a critically acclaimed run at Leeds Playhouse in 2021, Jitney – in a co-production with Headlong and Leeds Playhouse – will play at The Old Vic from 09 June–09 July.
Jim Becker and his unlicensed drivers take the people of Pittsburgh Hill District where regular taxi cabs won’t – healing old wounds and tearing new ones as they pass the time in a condemned taxi rank between pick-ups.
Joining the cast is Nnabiko Ejimofor as Shealy, Solomon Israel as Youngblood, Dayo Koleosho as Philmore and Sule Rimi as Turnbo. They join the previously announced Geoff Aymer as Doub, Leanne Henlon as Rena, Wil Johnson as Becker, Leemore Marrett Jr. as Booster, and Tony Marshall as Fielding. Lindon Alexander, Lincoln Conway, Blair Gyabaah and Yolanda Ovide are the understudies.
The creative team is also announced today.The production will feature Set and Costume by Alex Lowde,Lighting by Elliot Griggs, Sound and Composition by Max Perryment, Video by Ravi Deepres,Movement by Sarita Piotrowski,Casting by Jacob Sparrow andVoice and Dialect by Hazel Holder and Eleanor Manners, Intimacy by Asha Jennings-Grant and Fights by Kev McCurdy. Joining Director Tinuke Craig will be Prime Isaac as Associate Director.
Tinuke Craig,Director and The Old Vic’s current Baylis Director, said:
‘After a very successful and enjoyable run in Leeds last year, I’m excited to share Jitney with London audiences at The Old Vic. This remarkable play, the first written of August Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle, hasn’t been seen in London for over 20 years but remains as relevant as ever. It is a play I’ve loved for many years which explores the themes of love, loss and community through the lens of the Black experience. It’s a dream come true to be able to direct it.
‘I’m also thrilled to be welcoming back so many of the truly wonderful cast, along with a few new exciting additions. Every member of the company is a generous, charismatic, truthful, and inventive performer, and I couldn’t ask for a more exciting group of people to bring these fantastic characters to life.’
Jitney runs at The Old Vic from 09 June–09 July, with press night on Wednesday 15 June. The production is an Old Vic, Headlong and Leeds Playhouse co-production.
Jitney Creative Team
Director – Tinuke Craig
Set and Costume – Alex Lowde
Lighting – Elliot Griggs
Sound and Composer – Max Perryment
Video – Ravi Deepres
Movement – Sarita Piotrowski
Casting – Jacob Sparrow
Voice and Dialect – Hazel Holder and Eleanor Manners
Intimacy– Asha Jennings-Grant
Fights – Kev McCurdy
Associate Director – Prime Isaac
Costume Supervisor – Kirsty Blades
Headlong is one of the most ambitious and exciting theatre companies in the UK, creating exhilarating contemporary theatre: a provocative mix of innovative new writing, reimagined classics and influential 20th century plays that illuminate our world.
Leeds Playhouse has been welcoming audiences for 50 years. As a registered charity, the theatre creates work which is pioneering and relevant, seeking out the best companies and artists to create inspirational theatre in the heart of Yorkshire.
Theatre includes: The Big Life (West End); Jitney (Leeds Playhouse); Sunset Boulevard (Royal Albert Hall);Apollo 13: The Dark Side Of The Moon (Online Production); Two Trains Running (ETT UK tour); The Color Purple (Leicester Curve/Birmingham Hippodrome); Driving Miss Daisy (Frinton Summer Theatre/Canal Cafe Theatre); The Importance Of Being Earnest (Original Theatre UK tour); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Young Vic); To Kill A Mockingbird (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre/UK tour/Barbican); Macbeth (Shakespeare’s Globe); Neighbors (Nuffield Theatre, Southampton). Theatre as Writer includes: The Wonderful (Theatre Peckham); Anansi and the Magic Mirror (Talawa Theatre); The Oddest Couple (Theatre Royal Stratford East). Television includes: Eastenders, The A Force, The Real McCoy.
Theatre includes: For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets Too Heavy (Royal Court/Nouveau Riche/Boundless/New Diorama). Film includes: Attercoppe [short], Tingles [short], Figure [short]. Nnabiko graduated from RADA in 2020.
Theatre includes: Jitney (Leeds Playhouse); seven methods of killing kylie jenner (Royal Court); Knock Down (Dropped Tea Theatre). Leanne trained at The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Theatre includes: Jitney (Leeds Playhouse); Anna Karenina (Sheffield Crucible); Ravens: Spassky Vs. Fischer (Hampstead); Barber Shop Chronicles (National Theatre/US tour); Miss Littlewood, The Fantastic Follies Of Mrs Rich, The Duchess Of Malfi, Kingdom Come, The Tempest, Twelfth Night, Comedy Of Errors (RSC); The Pulverised, Octagon (Arcola Theatre); Dutchman (Young Vic). Television includes: In The Long Run, Lovesick, Doctor Who, Brothers With No Game, I Live With Models, Josh, Law And Order: UK, Quick Cuts, Doctors.
Theatre includes: Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (The Old Vic); Sweat (Donmar/West End); The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (Bridge Theatre); Women Beware Women, A Mad World My Masters (Shakespeare’s Globe); Glengarry Glen Ross (UK tour); King Lear (Royal Exchange); A Wolf in Snakeskin Shoes (Kiln); Fuente Ovejuna (National Theatre); Redundant (Royal Court); Leave Taking (Bush); Othello (Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh). Film includes: Adulthood, Anuvahood, Macbeth. Television includes: Waking the Dead, Carnival Row, The Larkins, Outlander, Death in Paradise, Vera, Lewis.
Theatre includes: Jitney (Leeds Playhouse); The Darkest Part of the Night (Kiln); Faith, Hope and Charity (National Theatre/European Tour). Performance work with Access All Areas includes: Eye Queue Hear, MADHOUSE re:exit, unreal City, The Interrogation. Television includes: 2012 Paralympics Opening Ceremony, Doctors, Holby City, Damned. Dayo graduated from Access All Areas’ 2014 Performance Making Diploma at the Central School of Speech and Drama, and is now a Trustee at Access All Areas. Along with his creative partner Lee Phillips, Dayo has created a collective called ‘Everyday Daylee’ and their performance of #crazyfuturelove has been performed at various festivals, including the 2019 Occupy Festival at the Battersea Arts Centre.
Leemore Marrett Jr.
Theatre includes: Chariots of Fire (Hampstead/West End); Jitney (Leeds Playhouse); Small Island (National Theatre); La Ronde (Bunker Theatre); All My Sons (Talawa). Film includes: The Batman, My Brother the Devil, Survivor, Postcards from London, Final Score. Television includes: My Name is Leon, I am… Victoria, Death in Paradise, Humans, Berlin Station, Call the Midwife, Crossing Lines, Vera, Silent Witness, 24: Live Another Day, Utopia, Whitechapel, Spooks, Stolen, The Academy Part 2: First Impressions, Doctors. Leemore trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
Theatre includes: Jitney (Leeds Playhouse); Having a Ball, Bouncers (Royal & Derngate, Northampton). Film includes: Learning to Breathe, The Flint Street Nativity, Getting Off, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Little Clumps of Hair. Television includes: Only Fools and Horses, Casualty (from 1993–2021), Still Open All Hours, Life on Mars, Holby City, Blessed, Judge John Deed, Living It, Doctors, My Family, Wing and a Prayer, The Queen’s Nose, Preston Front. Tony trained at The Drama Centre London.
Theatre includes: The American Clock, All My Sons (The Old Vic); Jitney (Leeds Playhouse); Barber Shop Chronicles, The Suicide, Three Sisters (National Theatre); Mary Stuart, They Drink It In The Congo (Almeida); Sweat, Measure for Measure, Force Majeure (Donmar); Glass. Kill. Bluebeard. (Royal Court); Love and Other Information, Desire Under the Elms (Sheffield Crucible); The Rolling Stone (Royal Exchange Manchester); Barber Shop Chronicles (Australia/NZ tour). Television includes: The English, Manhunt, Black Earth Rising, Death In Paradise, Strikeback. Film includes: Ear For Eye, The Nan Movie, Pink Wall, Indifferent, The Adventurer, The Machine, Francis, Elfie Hopkins &The Gammons.
Turnbo / Fielding / Philmore (Understudy)
Theatre includes: Clearwater (Barbican); NHS Who Cares (Royal Court); Mumburger (The Archivist’s Gallery); All Fall Away (Theatre 503); You Don’t Kiss (Oval House/UK tour). Television includes: Undercover, Doctors, The Capture, The Gold, Autopsy.
Becker / Doub (Understudy)
Theatre includes: King Lear (Second Age Theatre, Dublin); Festen (The Gate, Dublin); The Merchant of Venice (Halbowline Theatre Group); Sizwe Bansi is Dead (78th Street Theatre Lab). Film includes: Mission Impossible 7, Get Rich or Die Tryin’, Tara Road.
Youngblood / Booster / Shealy (Understudy)
Blair graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in 2021. This will be his professional debut since graduating.
Theatre includes: Grown Ups (UK tour); The Comedy About A Bank Robbery (UK tour); Sleeping Beauty (Yvonne Arnaud Theatre). Yolanda graduated from LAMDA in 2018.
August Wilson is best known for his series of 10 plays, collectively called The American Century Cycle, which chronicles the African-American experience over the course of the 20th century. The American Century Cycle consists of: Gem of the Ocean, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Piano Lesson – Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Seven Guitars, Fences – Tony Award for Best Play, Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Two Trains Running, Jitney – Olivier Award, King Hedley II, Radio Golf. Other plays include: Recycle, Black Bart and the Sacred Hills, Fullerton Street, The Homecoming, The Coldest Day of the Year, How I Learned What I Learned. August Wilson received Rockefeller and Guggenheim Fellowships, the Whiting Writers Award, 2003 Heinz Award and 1999 Humanities Medal from the President of the United States.
Theatre as Director includes: Aisha (the black album) (The Old Vic); Jitney (Leeds Playhouse); Last Easter (Orange Tree Theatre); Crave, random/generations (Chichester); Hamlet For Young Audiences (National Theatre); Cinderella (Lyric Hammersmith); Vassa (Almeida Theatre); The Color Purple (Leicester Curve/Birmingham Hippodrome); I Call My Brothers (Gate Theatre); dirty butterfly (Young Vic). Tinuke is currently Baylis Director at The Old Vic and Artistic Associate at the Lyric Hammersmith, and was the Gate’s Associate Director from 2015–2016. Tinuke trained at LAMDA and received the Genesis Future Director Award 2014.
Set and Costume
Theatre as Set & Costume Designer includes: Crave,random/generations (Chichester); The Color Purple (Leicester Curve); Jitney (Leeds Playhouse); Romeo & Juliet (Shakespeare’s Globe); La clemenza di Tito (Theater An Der Wien); All My Sons, August Osage County, She Town, The Elephant Man, A Doll’s House, The Glass Menagerie (Dundee Rep); The Master Builder, Pygmalion (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Persuasion (Royal Exchange Manchester); Tobias And the Angel, Dutchman,One for the Road/Victoria Station (Young Vic). Theatre as Costume Designer includes: Greek (Hannover, Scottish Opera); Edward II (National Theatre); Machinal and Game (Almeida).
Theatre includes: The Lover/The Collection (West End); Amélie the Musical (West End/UK tour); Fleabag (West End/UK tour/SoHo Playhouse, New York/Soho Theatre/Edinburgh Festival); Purple Snowflakes and Titty Wanks, A Fight Against, On Bear Ridge (Royal Court); The Wild Duck (Almeida); An Octoroon (Orange Tree/National Theatre); Jitney (Leeds Playhouse); Missing Julie (Theatre Clwyd); Ivan and the Dogs (Young Vic); Richard III (Headlong); Dry Powder (Hampstead); Pomona (Orange Tree/Royal Exchange Manchester/National Theatre); Queens of the Coal Age, The Night Watch (Royal Exchange Manchester); Yen (Royal Court/Royal Exchange Manchester); Blue Door (Ustinov Studio); Loot (Park Theatre/Watermill Theatre); Hir (Bush); The Oracles (Punchdrunk).
Sound and Composer
Theatre includes: Dust (West End/ New York Theatre Workshop); Jitney (Leeds Playhouse); Is God Is, Living Newspaper (Royal Court); Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare’s Globe); Shipwreck (Almeida); The Convert, In A Word (Young Vic); Miss Julie (Chester Storyhouse/UK tour); The Sweet Science of Bruising (Wilton’s Music Hall/ Southwark Playhouse). Film includes: David vs. Goliath, Buddy Goes to Nollywood, Footsteps of Tagore, Waiting for Fukushima.
Theatre includes: Raven Girl (ROH); Atomos, Entity, Nemesis, FAR (Sadler’s Wells); Josephine and I (Bush); And Breathe… (Almeida); Woolf Works (ROH/La Scala, Milan); GENUS (National Ballet of Canada); Afterite (MET Opera House, New York); Absolute Zero (New National Theatre, Tokyo); EDEN:EDEN (Stuttgart Opera House/ Vienna Opera House). Other work includes: Obscura (Royal Academy Of Arts). Film includes: Atomos, Gain Line, Tremor, Obscura, A Tale Of, RUNNER. Television includes: Artist Ident.
Theatre as Movement Director includes: Theodora, A Day in The Death Of Joe Egg (West End); Jitney (Headlong/Leeds Playhouse); The Cunning Little Vixen (Opera Holland Park); Tartuffe (RSC/Birmingham Rep); I Would Rather Go Blind (Omnibus Theatre); Underwater Love (Futures Theatre); Nell Gwynn (The Ivy Theatre); Awa’s Journey (Arcola Theatre); Anything Goes (Hackney Empire). Theatre as Associate Movement Director includes: Best Of Enemies (Young Vic); Nine Night (National Theatre). Theatre as Choreographer includes: Glimpses (The Place). Television includes: Sher YadetNare. Film includes: Been So Long, Louder than Words.
Theatre includes:City of Angels (West End); Oklahoma! (Young Vic); Black Love (Kiln Theatre); Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Leeds/Home Manchester); Anna Karenina, Much Ado About Nothing (Sheffield Crucible); Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (UK tour); Jitney (Headlong/Leeds Playhouse); Burn It Down (Theatre Royal Stratford East); Carousel, Our Town (Regents Park); LOVE, Faith, Hope and Charity (European tour); Perspectives (New Views); Roundabout 2021 Season (Paines Plough); Hadestown, Pericles, Follies, Amadeus, Queer Season, Rutherford and Son, Faith Hope and Charity, Mr Gum, Downstate (National Theatre); LOVE (National Theatre/International Tour). Film includes: LOVE.
Voice and Dialect
Theatre includes: A Number (The Old Vic); Cock, To Kill a Mockingbird, Constellations, 2:22, Uncle Vanya, Death of a Salesman, Dreamgirls (West End); Trouble in Mind, Rockets & Blue Lights, Death of England: Delroy, Death of England, Small Island, Nine Night, Barber Shop Chronicles, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (National Theatre); Death of a Black Man (Hampstead Theatre); Pass Over (Kiln); Caroline, or Change (Chichester); Fairview,The Convert (Young Vic); ear for eye, Poet in Da Corner (Royal Court). Television includes: Small Axe, The Power, In the Long Run. Film includes: Aisha, The Silent Twins, ear for eye, Death on the Nile.
Voice and Dialect
Theatre includes: seven methods of killing kylie jenner, Is God Is (Royal Court); The White Card (Northern Stage/UK tour); Othello (UK tour); Searching for the Heart of Leeds, Jitney, Wendy & Peter Pan (Leeds Playhouse); Klippies (Young Vic); Cake (Theatre Peckham); When This Is Over (Company Three); Run it Back (Fairfield Halls, Croydon); Love and Other Acts of Violence (Donmar); White Noise (Bridge Theatre).
Theatre includes: Sad (Omnibus Theatre); Vinegar Tom (The Maltings Theatre, St. Albans); Jitney (Leeds Playhouse); Leopards (Rose Theatre, Kingston). Television includes: Sherwood, Mood, The Thief, The Wife and the Canoe, Brave New World.
Theatre includes: The Wife of Willesden (Kiln Theatre); Macbeth (Shakespeare’s Globe); Mary’s Seacole (Donmar Warehouse); The Burnt City (Punchdrunk); Indecent, Days of Significance, Red Velvet (Richard Burton Company); Les Misérables (Sondheim Theatre); Rigoletto, Bajazet (Royal Opera House); Don Giovanni, Jenufa (Welsh National Opera); Red Pitch (Bush Theatre); Moreno (Theatre 503); The Wicker Musical (Watermill Theatre); Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em (UK tour); Traplord (Studio 180 / Sadlers Wells); Gunpowder (Tower of London); Guardians of The Galaxy (Secret Cinema / Marvel / Disney). Television includes: The Pact S2, The A List S2, Y Golau / The Light, Keeping Faith.
Theatre includes: A Midsummer Night’s Dream,Twelfth Night, Macbeth (Shakespeare’s Globe); People, Places & Things (National Theatre/ West End); Jitney (Leeds Playhouse). Prime has toured with Milke Presents as their Company Apprentice and is now their Young Associate. She also runs her own theatre company Prime Presents.
Theatre as Head of Costume includes: The Band(West End/UK tour); The Who’s Tommy (Stratford East/UK tour); See How they Run(UK tour). Theatre as Costume Supervisor includes: Say Yes to Tess(Camden People’s Theatre/UK tour); Oliver Twist(Leeds Playhouse/UK tour); Dracula (UK tour); Jitney,Macbeth, East is East and Cas is Cas, Decades, Fairy Poppins – Travelling Playhouse, Night Before Christmas, There are no Beginnings (Leeds Playhouse
09 Jun–09 Jul
Tickets: £10–£65 (premium, charitable and Old Vic Plus tickets available)
Captioned: Mon 27 Jun, 7.30pm
Audio Described: Fri 01 Jul, 7.30pm (Touch Tour time 5.30pm)
For tickets and further information on Jitney, visit oldvictheatre.com