A SOHO THEATRE AND NOUVEAU RICHE PRODUCTION

Where is home?
Thought I was home
I fought then came home
Thought I was home….

A powerful and urgent exploration about how society stereotypes Black masculinity is the subject of a brand-new film created by award-winning creative movement Nouveau Riche and Soho Theatre, London’s leading producer for new theatre, comedy and cabaret.

 

Typical, written by Ryan Calais Cameron, initially directed for the stage and now for the screen by Anastasia Osei-Kuffour, uncovers the man and the humanity behind the tragic real-life story of Christopher Alder, a Black British ex-serviceman.

 

First performed in 2019 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe before the hit play transferred to Soho Theatre for a sell-out run, this work has been revived to be filmed during the Covid-19 outbreak and shot adhering to social distancing guidelines, on location at Soho Theatre.

 

Hollyoaks regular and former EastEnders star Richard Blackwood reprises the critically acclaimed part he played in Typical, the stage version. The versatile actor has a career that spans 30 years across stage and screen and was the first Black comic to have his own TV show in the UK. For Typical, he delivers an intense, multi-rolling monologue, that is at times both harrowing and darkly comedic. The tragic storyline highlights the crisis of identity consuming Britain today and how little progress has been made in race relations in the twenty years since Christopher’s story emerged.

 

Playwright Ryan Calais Cameron says: “Typical is the story of a Black man that is just a man when he is in the comfort of his home, but as he leaves, he must navigate through society’s ideas and prejudices about what it means to be Black.

“I believe this play is vital and should be seen as widely as possible, particularly now given the far overdue global fight for freedom, justice and liberation from overt, covert, and systemic racism. Typical is a slice of our history, that hopes to give insight, education and hope for a better future.”

 

Soho Theatre’s Creative Director David Luff adds: “Ryan Calais Cameron is a superb new writer and in Typical has created a piece which deals respectfully with past tragic events whilst shining a bright spotlight on injustice in contemporary British society. We first met Ryan on our Writers’ Lab programme, before watching his superb hit production of Queens of Sheba. On reading Typical, we knew straight away that this was a piece that needed to be produced. We were completely taken by the power, beauty and lyricism of Ryan’s writing and supported him in mounting the show in Edinburgh and London.

“The process of adapting the play for screen in this Covid-19 period has been challenging but hugely rewarding, bringing together a superb team of theatre and film creatives. We are extremely proud to have co-produced this new filmed version at Soho Theatre and eager for it to find a wide audience.”

 

Typical is currently in post-production. Further announcements detailing the film’s release will be made very soon. Please look here to Soho Theatre’s Newsfeed for updates.

 

*A percentage of the proceeds from this film will be donated to Janet Alder, Christopher’s sister, who is raising funds to write a book about his story. This film is dedicated to his memory and the many Black men and women whose lives have been destroyed by racism in our society.

 

From the director Anastasia Osei-Kuffour: “It was so heart-breaking to see that even in a global pandemic racism is still raging, the killing of Black people by police and the fact that the virus disproportionately affected us people of colour more — because of the societal inequalities that racism has engineered — is so hard to stomach. Reviving Typical is part of our protest and fight against the wrong going on in the world, a way we as a team are taking action.

“Shooting this as a film, we are hoping it can reach thousands more than our theatre production did, because there needs to be greater awareness of our own incidents of racism, injustice and police misconduct , problems that we need to tackle here in the UK. I am praying that greater awareness helps us along the way to stamping out racism and injustice here, as people are more held to account for their behaviour. Black Lives Matter, Christopher Alder’s life matters, Typical highlights this.”

 

PRAISE FOR TYPICAL’S STAGE VERSION in 2019

‘Gripping’  ★★★★  Evening Standard

‘An excellent performance’  ★★★★  The Stage

‘Mind-blowing’  ★★★★  Afridiziak Theatre News

‘Phenomenal’  ★★★★  The Skinny

‘Heartbreaking’ ★★★★★ The Student

‘Outstanding’ ★★★★   FEST

 

CREATIVE AND PRODUCTION TEAM

Writer:  Ryan Calais Cameron

Director:  Anastasia Osei-Kuffour

Actor:  Richard Blackwood

Producer:  Charlotte Campbell

Producer:  Gabrielle Leadbetter

Executive Producer:  David Luff

Executive Producer:  Ryan Calais Cameron

Cinematographer:  Jermaine Edwards

Editor:  Oral Norrie Ottey

Assistant Editor:  Robert Cone

Set and Costume Designer:  Zahra Mansouri

Sound Designer:  Gareth Fry

Original Stage Sound Designer:  Duramaney Kamara

Lighting Designer:  Paul Anderson

Lighting Programmer:  Laurence Russell

Original Stage Lighting Designer:  Sorcha Stott-Strzala

Voice and Dialect Coach:  Hazel Holder

Drama Therapist:  Wabriya King

Movement Director:  Coral Messam

Original Stage Movement Director:  Ingrid Mackinnon

Fight Director:  Kevin McCurdy

Assistant Director:  Jessica Mensah

Production Manager:  Sebastian Cannings

Stage Manager:  Sylvia Darkwa-Ohemeng

Make Up Designer:  Ruth McGinty

Casting Director:  Nadine Rennie

Camera Operator B Camera:  Sean Francis

Camera Operator C Camera:  Anna MacDonald

Focus Puller A Camera:  Tim Potter

Focus Puller B Camera:  Marco Alonso

Focus Puller C Camera:  Emma Friend

2nd AC:  Jean Ash

DIT:  John Miguel King

Stills Photographer:  Franklyn Rodgers

Lighting Equipment:  Sparks Theatrical Hire Ltd.

Colourist:  John Miguel King

Digital Imaging Services:  Digital Orchard

Music Clearance:  Laura Rouxel

Soho Technician:  Kevin Millband

Soho Technician:  Georgina Trott

 

-ENDS-

 

For all media enquiries please contact Diana Whitehead at: diana@fourthwallpr.co.uk / 07939 149887

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

 

RICHARD BLACKWOOD – Actor
A tour de force in the industry for the last 30 years. Richard was the first Black comic to have his own TV show in the UK and has been a regular on stage and screen ever since. Open to challenges, fearless and ambitious, he relishes telling stories, especially those that will bring change.

Film credits include: Sen in DEUS (Goldfinch), Fordy in CURIOSITY KILLS (Jerico Lane Pictures), PC Benson in MEET THE GUVNORS (Fullwell 73), Junior in STILL WATERS (Still Waters the Movie LTD), Olu in KRISH AND LEE (Jaffa Films), Linton in OUTSIDE BET (Gateway Films), Russell in ANUVAHOOD (Gunslinger) Richard in DON’T STOP DREAMING (Stereo Nation).Television credits include: Felix (series regular) in HOLLYOAKS, Billy Dwayne Ross in PANDORA, Levi in DEATH IN PARADISE (Red Planet Pictures), Vincent (series regular) in EASTENDERS (BBC), Danny in CASUALTY (BBC), Harley in HARLEY’S ANGELS (Railto Films), Anton in BRITANNIA HIGH (ITV), Mickey Crush in DANI’S HOUSE (BBC), Guest Lead in ASK TV SKETCH SHOW (Roc Motion), Sir Lancelot in SHOOT THE MESSENGER (BBC) and THE LITTLE MISS JOCELYN SHOW (BBC). Theatre credits include: TYPICAL (Pleasance Beneath, Edinburgh and Soho Theatre, London), Johnny in FRANKIE AND JOHNNY (Northern Stage), Donkey in SHREK (Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London) Brightie in CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (Novello Theatre, London), John in ANGEL HOUSE (New Wolsey & Tour) Angel in THE UNEXPECTED GUEST (Bill Kenwright Ltd) and Paul in THE BROTHERS (Hackney Empire).

 

NOUVEAU RICHE is an exciting, diverse, multi-award winning, creative movement, co-founded by Ryan Calais Cameron and Shivani Cameron, and includes a team of professional artists and producers. Their objective is to discover, nurture and produce unique stories from all walks of life, with a keen scope on work that is both educational and entertaining. Their work covers the mediums of Film, Theatre, Documentary & Visual Art. Developed on Starting Blocks at Camden People’s Theatre, following sell out runs at Edinburgh Fringe and New Diorama, Nouveau Riché, winners of The Untapped Award 2018 and an Edinburgh Stage Award.

 

RYAN CALAIS CAMERON is a writer, actor Director and Producer. In 2018 Ryan produced the critically acclaimed hit Queens of Sheba (winner of Edinburgh Untapped Award), which toured nationwide last year. Ryan is also the winner of the Off West End Adopt A Playwright Award (2018) with his play Rhapsody (Arcola Theatre) and an alumnus of both the Royal Court writer’s programme (2017) and the Soho Young Company (2016). Ryan’s first play Timbuktu was part of the Bush Theatre’s Black Lives Black Words Festival 2016, a festival of radical new BAME voices. It was revived for a sell-out run at Stratford Theatre Royal East. He has been commissioned for Arcola Theatre and Royal Court and has also developed a new play based around Hollywood legend Sidney Poitier.

 

ANASTASIA OSEI-KUFFOUR is a Director, Writer, Producer and Poet. She is currently Associate Director at Theatre503 and Artistic Director of Wrested Veil Production Company having trained as a director through the Young Vic Directors Programme and as an Artistic Director through the Artistic Director Leadership Programme. Direction includes: Seeds (Leeds Playhouse, Live Newcastle, Derby Theatre & Warwick Arts Centre); Typical (Soho Theatre & Pleasance Courtyard Edinburgh Fringe & Audible ); Cuttin’It (Royal Court UK schools tour to 19 schools); Footprints on the Moon (Finborough) and several short plays. She has also worked as an Associate or Assistant director on plays at several theatres including The National Theatre, Royal Court, Young Vic, Gate Theatre, Finborough Theatre, Unicorn Theatre, Birmingham Rep and Sheffield Theatres.

 

JERMAINE EDWARDS borrowed his first 35mm camera at the age of 12, his aunt gave him a crash course in photography. He took those skills and started to craft a way of seeing the world. Studying Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University only lay a more solid foundation. He stumbled into the world of film making and was held hostage by what the guy with the camera was doing. Edwards worked his way through the camera department Bronson, 71, pride, Top boy learning, these relationships fostered the urge to become a cinematographer and lead him to the National Film & Television School. Since graduating he has made work that has been shown in festivals on both sides of the Atlantic, more importantly, the stories have touched people and asks questions that can only elicit an emotional response.

 

SOHO THEATRE is a registered charity and social enterprise and London’s most vibrant producer for new theatre, comedy and cabaret. Ordinarily it plays to live audiences of 250,000 audiences a year in its Dean Street venue, at the Edinburgh Fringe and beyond. Whilst its doors are currently closed due to Covid-19, its priorities are to: safeguard Soho Theatre’s future; do its best to look after its staff team and wider network of artists and practitioners; where it can contribute to the wider community response; broaden its online offering through its On Demand platform; and, work towards the opening of an exciting second venue, ‘a local theatre with a national profile’ in Walthamstow in 2022.
www.sohotheatreondemand.com | @sohotheatre

 

Images of Richard Blackwood in Typical by Aly Wight. Location: Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, August 2019

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