Top Row – L-R Karl Collins, Llewella Gideon, Danelle Kassarate, Daniel Ward
Bottom Row – L-R Omar Austin, Shayde Sinclair, Doreene Blackstock, Dalumuzi Moyo
Meet The Architect – a 48-year-old Londoner of Caribbean heritage, who has fulfilled his life-long dream of becoming a builder of cities, a maker of dreams.
Step aboard a double decker bus to share that dream with him: a vision for a city of the future – a new way of existing. A blueprint that embraces everyone.
THE ARCHITECT commemorates the 30th anniversary year of the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence by bringing together a collective of prolific Black theatre-makers to explore and celebrate Black lives and the dreams that accompany them – whilst imagining the blueprint of what a future city could and should be.
In support of the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation, this immersive theatrical performance aboard a London double-decker bus, takes passengers on a ride like no other through South East London to Woolwich’s General Gordon Square. Along the way they will encounter storytelling, characters, musicians, steel pan and runners from Stephen’s athletics club – the Cambridge Harriers. Passengers will alight in General Gordon Square where the culmination of the performance will be THE ARCHITECT’S DREAM, a free standalone event, providing a collective moment for audiences and the wider community to look forward in hope and to create the future we all want.
The production’s stellar cast is led by Karl Collins (Rockets And Blue Lights, NATIONAL THEATRE) and Llewella Gideon (Mary Seacole, DONMAR WAREHOUSE) who play The Architect and The Conductor respectively. The cast also includes Daniel Ward who recently starred in the critically-acclaimed Tambo & Bones, Danielle Kassarate, Shayde Sinclair (Sleepover, THE BUSH THEATRE); Doreene Blackstock, Omar Austin, Dalumui Moyo.
Olivier Award-winning director Matthew Xia, Artistic Director of Actors Touring Company (ATC) says: “This is not a play about Stephen Lawrence: but an artistic response to that seismic event in British history in 1993. I have gathered a collective of the most brilliant Black theatre artists to respond to this commemorative moment and as is often the way with such painful events and memories, we want to try to move through the trauma, and the profound loss towards something uplifting and hopeful. We come together in our collective power to celebrate Black lives, hopes and dreams and to imagine an alternative city, designed and inhabited by ‘The Architect’.”
The multi-talented creatives behind THE ARCHITECT alongside Matthew Xia, are multi-award winning playwrights Roy Williams, Mojisola Adebayo and Bola Agbaje, immersive sound designer Xana and emerging writers Dexter Flanders and Vanessa Macauley.
The artists talk about what this project means to them:
Roy Williams says: “The very name of Stephen Lawrence brings so much to mind, about race and racism, diversity, class and the rest. Issues that, post-McPherson, post-Brexit, we are still debating. The Architect invites us allto imagine a world that would be a celebration of Black lives, what Britain could be. It’s a way of looking forward for us all.”
Mojisola Adebayo says: “As a Black South East Londoner who grew up in the times and on the streets where Stephen Lawrence walked and waited, there is no greater honour for me than to be invited to write for The Architect. This will be a performance and remembrance that will uplift people and give us joy. That is blackness. It is beautiful. Like the Sankofa bird we look back and fly forward. Even in sorrow, we create something that moves and keeps the movement moving on. Come and get on the bus.”
Bola Agbaje adds: “When you think of Black British history, tragic events are at the forefront. I’m a South Londoner born and raised, so creating a piece of art that travels through an area that holds sad memories for a south Londoner like me, means I get to create new memories. My focus on this project has been to explore the hopes and dreams a mother has of raising a black son in London.”
Jessica Neil, Chief Executive of the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation says: “Stories have the power to inspire ordinary people to achieve extraordinary things. The deeply personal individual experiences of people from marginalised communities, paint a picture of our remarkable collective contributions to British society, and also of how far we still have to travel. ‘The Architect’ is a powerful example of how storytelling can create empathy, understanding and hope in communities, and we are so proud that Stephen’s legacy is being supported by the Greenwich+Docklands International Festival, Matthew Xia and the Actors Touring Company as they bring this important production to life.”
The production is part of a long-term collaboration between ATC, Matthew Xia and Greenwich+Docklands International Festival (Xia directed 846 Live, and ATC & GDIF co-produced FAMILY TREE in 2021, prior to its recent national tour)
Bradley Hemmings, the Artistic Director of the Greenwich+Docklands International Festival, co-commissioner and co-producer of THE ARCHITECT says: “As a festival that sets out to reflect the evolving narratives of the Boroughs in which we work, GDIF is honoured and humbled to be working with a creative team, whose lives and achievements have been shaped by the legacy of Stephen Lawrence. THE ARCHITECT will, without doubt, be the emotional centrepiece of the 2023 festival exemplifying this year’s theme, “Acts of Hope”.
THE ARCHITECT is the final part of Actors Touring Company’s TRANSFORMATION SEASON 2023, following on from a 14-week nationwide tour of Alfred Fagon Award winning play FAMILY TREE by Mojisola Adebayo and the UK premiere of Dave Harris’s critically acclaimed TAMBO & BONES. THE ARCHITECT is also the theatrical centrepiece of the Greenwich+Docklands International Festvial 2023 which takes place between 25 August – 10 September.
A total of 12 performances
THE ARCHITECT – Ticketed. Board the bus in Deptford
Alight at: General Gordon Square, Woolwich SE18 6FH
Ticket Price: From £12
Booking Link: HERE
Duration: 55 mins
DATES AND TIMES: Wed 6 – Fri 8 Sep: 6.30pm and 8.30pm
Sat 9 & Sun 10 Sep: 2.30pm, 6.30pm and 8.30pm
THE ARCHITECT’S DREAM – FREE, Outdoor, General Gordon Square, Woolwich
Backed by Steel-Pan music, this free, powerful performance, provides a stand-alone culmination to THE ARCHITECTright in the heart of Woolwich.
DATES AND TIMES Wed 6 – Fri 8 Sep: 7.30pm and 9.30pm
Sat 9 & Sun 10 Sep: 3.30pm, 7.30pm and 9.30pm
Directed by Matthew Xia
Conceived by Mojisola Adebayo, Roy Williams and Matthew Xia
Written by Mojisola Adebayo, Bola Agbaje, Dexter Flanders, Vanessa Macauley and Roy Williams
Design by Natalie Pryce
Sound Design by XANA
Movement Direction by Asha Jennings-Grant
Lighting Associate Chris McDonnell
Costume Associate Naomi Wright
Featuring the Metronome Steel Orchestra
Company Manager Marie-Angelique St. Hill
Stage Manager James Boyer Smith
Deputy Stage Manager Paris Wu
Production Manager Clementine Seeley
Producer Jade Samuels
Karl Collins plays The Architect
Llewella Gideon plays The Conductor
Danielle Kassarate plays Female Lover
Daniel Ward plays Male Lover
Dalumuzi Mayo plays Boy 1
Omar Austin plays Boy 2
Doreene Blackstock plays A Mother
Shayde Sinclair plays Niece
THE ARCHITECT IS SUPPORTED BY
The Royal Borough of Greenwich, Royal Greenwich Festivals, The University of Greenwich and Arts Council England with thanks to Berkley Group and The Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation
Theatre includes: Rockets and Blue Lights (National Theatre), In a Word (Young Vic), Our Town (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Nine Night (Trafalgar Studios), Shebeen (Nottingham Playhouse and Theatre Royal Stratford East), Chimerica (Almeida and West End), One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show (Eclipse Theatre Company), Riff Raff (Arcola Theatre), Category B, Detaining Justice, Seize the Day, Fabulation, How Long is Never – Darfur (all Tricycle Theatre), The 11th Capital (Royal Court), The Measles (The Gate Theatre), Fuente Ova Juna (National Theatre)
Television includes: Champion, Trying, Magpie Murders, The Chelsea Detective, Safe Space, The Larkins, The Responder, Midsomer Murders, The end of the F***ing World, Vera, Hollyoaks, This is England ’90, Our Zoo, The Driver, The Transporter, By Any Means, The Doors, Youngers, 2012, Black Mirror – The Entire History of You, Blackout, Death in Paradise, The Fades, Excluded, Shelfstackers, Dr. Who, Silent Witness, New Street Law, The Visit, 55 Degrees North, A Thing Called Love, Grease Monkeys, The Bill, Metrosexuality.
Film includes: The Flash, The Unloved, Life and Lyrics, Greenwich Mean Time, Twentyfourseven, Robert Ryland’s Last Journey
Theatre includes Marys Seacole (Donmar Warehouse); The Long Song (Chichester Festival Theatre); Faith, Hope and Charity (European Tour); Under the Sun (Royal Court); The Amen Corner (Bristol Old Vic); The Big Life (Theatre Royal Stratford East); Faith, Hope and Charity (Théâtre Odéon Paris/Vienna WienFestwochen); Queen in Septimus Bean and the Amazing Machine (Unicorn Theatre); Play Mas (Orange Tree Theatre); The Vote (Donmar Warehouse); Birthday (Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at The Royal Court); The Best of the Little Big Woman, The Little Big Woman, The Little Big Woman Show (Dual Impact); Family Man, The Sunshine Boys (B&S Productions).
Television includes Boarders (BBC), Queenie (Further South Productions), Gangsta Granny Strikes Again (BBC), Mrs Sidhu Investigates (ITV), Amicable (BBC3), Christmas Carole (SKY), Top Boy (NETFLIX), Sneakerhead (ROUGHCUT), Small Axe Mangrove (BBC), The Real McCoy (also as writer)(BBC), Absolutely Fabulous (BBC), Nighty Night (BBC), Big Train (BBC), Murder Most Horrid (AMAZON), Alex Rider (AMAZON), Game Face (CHANNEL 4) , Millie In-Between (BBC), Still Open All Hours (BBC), Birth Day (APPLE TV) , The Vote (MORE 4), Sir Lenny Henry’s Race through Comedy of Colour (GOLD), Big School (BBC), Giggle Biz (BBC), Trigonometry (BBC), Delivery Man (ITV), Psychobitches (SKY ARTS), The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff (BBC) , Hotel Trubble (BBC), The Lenny Henry Show (BBC), Doctors (BBC), Holby (BBC), Casualty (BBC).
Films include Rye Lane, Paddington, A Street Cat Named Bob, My Jerome, Black Sea, Second Coming, Before I Go to Sleep, Manderlay, Nativity, Absolutely Fabulous –The Movie, Harry Hill – The Movie.
As a writer, Afternoon Play: Fruit Salad, The Little Big Woman Book. In 2020 Llewella received a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Media from University College, London.
Danielle trained at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama on the Drama, Applied Theatre and Education Course. Theatre includes: I Wonder If (Young Vic); Til Death Do Us Part (Theatre503); Aladdin (Mercury Theatre); … Cake (Theatre Peckham); Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-Time (The Gielgud Theatre and International Tour); The Color Purple (Birmingham Hippodrome, Leicester Curve & The Color Purple – At Home); Macbeth (Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch); Wildfire (Hampstead Theatre); Guys and Dolls (The Royal Exchange Theatre); Little Shop of Horrors (Theatre Clwyd); One Hundred Trillion (The Old Vic Workrooms) and Dusty (Charing Cross Theatre).
Workshop includes: Love In Gravitational Waves (Talawa); Mansfield Park (The Watermill Theatre); Pink Spaceship/Sprint (Sky Comedy/Birmingham Rep); Black Power Desk (Gbolahan Obisesan & Gail Babb) Home Girl (Derby Theatre); Hamlet (National Theatre). Television includes: The Sandman (Netflix/Warner Bros).
Daneil is a versatile actor and writer. As an actor, Daniel most recently finished leading Tambo And Bones, in the role of Bones, at Theatre Royal Stratford East. Other recent theatre credits include: Cat on A Hot Tin Roof (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester); Rebellion and War Of The Roses (RSC); Nora: A Doll’s House (Citizen’s Theatre); The Amen Corner (National Theatre). Recent screen credits include: Mood (BBC); This Is Going To Hurt (BBC) and A Bird Flew In. Daniel’s debut play, The Canary And The Crow, which he both wrote and starred in, opened to a critically acclaimed run at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Festival before embarking on a UK tour and winning the 2020 George Devine Award. His theatre writing has gone from strength to strength, with Everything I Own, Ribena and Tactile Nature enjoying critically-acclaimed runs at Hull Truck Theatre, Theatre Royal Stratford East and Theatre Centre respectively.
Trained with the National Youth Theatre REP Company 22/23. He recently completed filming on the upcoming thriller series The Castaways for Paramount Plus.
Omar recently starred as Joseph Knight in Enough of Him for National Theatre of Scotland & Pitlochry Theatre, for which he was nominated for an Outstanding Performance Award by the Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland. Omar trained at Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama. On graduating, he filmed the second series of Jez Butterworth’s Britannia for Sky/Amazon, and made his professional stage debut in the world premiere of the new play God of Chaos at Theatre Royal, Plymouth.
Other credits include, Pugh in So Here We Are (Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch) and Aaron in The Book of Actions (Nouveau Riche).
Theatre includes: Es & Flo (Kiln Theatre) ,FOXES (Seven Dials Playhouse) ,The Key Workers Cycle (Almeida Theatre), FOXES (Theatre503 & Theatre Peckham) #846LIVE (Theatre Royal, Stratford East), Unknown Rivers (Hampstead Theatre), Equus (Trafalgar Studios), Noughts and Crosses (Pilot Theatre Tour), Bullet Hole, Distance (Park Theatre), Much Ado About Nothing (The Globe), Roundelay (Southwark Playhouse), Cymbeline, Hamlet, Noughts & Crosses (RSC), Antigone, Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Pilot Theatre Company), Holloway Jones (Synergy Theatre Project), The Container (Young Vic Theatre), Any Which Way (Only Connect Theatre), One Under, The Gift (Tricycle Theatre), 25/7 (Talking Birds Theatre Company), Document Given To Me By a Young Lady from Rwanda (Ice & Fire Theatre Company), The Carver Chair (Contact Theatre), Leave Taking, Girlie Talk (Belgrade Studio), Rosie & Jim’s Big Adventure (Ragdoll Theatre Company), Leonora’s Dance (Black Theatre Co-operative). TV and Film includes: The Colour Room, Sex Education (Seasons 1, 2 & 3), Doctors, Death in Paradise, The Child in Time, EastEnders, The Game, Silent Witness, Trinity, The Bill, Life Begins, Family Business, Wire in the Blood, Medics, Casualty, Holby City, Judge John Deed, Gimme Gimme Gimme, Tom Jones, Common as Muck, Mm Hm, This Year’s Love.
Shayde Sinclair graduated this year from the Guildhall and was part of the 2023 Open Door Cohort. Whilst still at the Guildhall, Shayde made her professional debut in Sleepover at the Bush Theatre, written by Matilda Feyiṣayọ Ibini and starring alongside Aliyah Odoffin, Amber Grappy and Bukky Bakray. The show received exceptional reviews across the board.
For further information: https://www.atctheatre.com/production/the-architect/