The Broadway revival of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson starring Samuel L Jackson, John David Washington and Danielle Brooks might be heading to London’s West End in 2023, according to industry rumour.
Director LaTanya Richardson Jackson revival of August Wilson’s seminal, Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, not seen on Broadway for over 30 years has been a huge success at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre where it runs until 29 January 2023.
Wilson’s haunting masterpiece, which has his usual pithy dialogue and comic moments, is set in 1936 Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and centres on a family fighting over a prized family heirloom – a piano with designs carved by their enslaved ancestor. Do they sell it and invest the money in land or keep it as part of their history.
John David Washington (Amsterdam, BlacKkKlansman) plays Boy Willie who wants to sell, with Danielle Brooks (Orange is the New Black, The Color Purple) playing his sister Berniece, who wants to keep hold of the piano at all cost. Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction) plays uncle Doaker Charles, who is caught in the middle. Jackson actually appeared in the original Broadway cast, though this time he plays a different role.
The Piano Lesson explores themes of family, history, tradition, and the African American experience. It also deals with the legacy of slavery and its impact on the family.
Dates, venue and casting for the potential London transfer have not been announced.