Bristol Old Vic has announced the full cast and creative team for Tony-nominated musical play Choir Boy by Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight).
The cast features some of the hottest young musical theatre stars in the UK, and is the first major UK revival of this soul-stirring production, directed by Bristol Old Vic’s new Artistic Director Nancy Medina.
The Choir Boy cast includes Terique Jarrett as Pharus, with Michael Ahomka-Lindsay as David, Daon Broni as Headmaster Marrow, Khalid Daley as JR, Jyuddah James as AJ, Alistair Nwachukwu as Bobby, and Martin Turner as Mr Pendleton.
Choir Boy follows Pharus, a young queer, Black student, leading the legendary gospel choir at his elite all-boys prep school in America. This tender coming-of-age story is threaded through with a cappella gospel hymns and spirituals and rejoices in what it means to march to your own drum.
The creative team also includes Designer – Max Johns; Lighting Designer – Simisola Majekodunmi; Musical Director and Arranger – Femi Temowo; Sound Designer – Donato Wharton; Movement Director and Intimacy Coordinator – Ingrid Mackinnon; Voice and Dialect Coach – Aundrea Fudge; Casting Director –Julia Horan; Fight Director – Kev McCurdy; Lighting Designer – Simisola Majekodunmi; Drama Therapist – Samantha Adams; Associate Director – Tatenda Shamiso; Costume Supervisor and Hair Consultant – Sophia Khan; Company Stage Manager – Graham Ray; Deputy Stage Manager – Jade Hunter; and Assistant Stage Manager – Eve Richardson.
Director Nancy Medina said in a statement: “At every step of putting our production of Choir Boy together, there’s been a palpable feeling of joy and giddiness – because it offers such rich, three-dimensional characters for young Black men to perform. It provides what is still a rare opportunity to delve deep into gorgeous characters and explore their honest relationships through really well-crafted storytelling. Tarell Alvin McCraney’s script never skips a beat, getting to the essence of what human connection means. I’ve known this play for a few years and during that time society has shifted the conversation about identity, equity and social justice on quite significantly. Woven through this joyous play, current conversations take on new meaning, as our tremendously talented cast and creative team bring it to life, I hope Bristol audiences fall in love with Choir Boy as much as I have.”
Choir Boy runs from 12 October to 11 November 2023 at Bristol Old Vic.
More about the Choir Boy cast
Terique Jarrett plays Pharus. His professional debut was in the West End production Motown the Musical before going onto The Mirror and the Light (West End); The Winter’s Tale (National Theatre) and Our Town (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre). Most recently, he had the lead role in the UK premiere of Daddy at the Almeida, for which he was nominated for the Evening Standard’s 2022 Emerging Talent award. His screen work includes two seasons of Find Me in Paris (Hulu/Disney+) in the role of Isaac Portier and the film Layla (Film 4).
Jyuddah Jaymes plays Pharus’ roommate AJ. His most recent theatre production was Romeo and Juliet (Almeida) playing Tybalt and he can currently be seen in the spaghetti western series Django (Sky/Canal+), the third season of Sanditon for ITV/Masterpiece (PBS) where he will be reprising his season 1 role of Otis Molyneux, and the Idris Elba-lead thriller Hijack for Apple TV+. His film work includes recently completed filming opposite Josh Hartnett in Fight or Flight as well as playing legendary Olympic athlete Jesse Owens in Boys in the Boat (MGM) directed by George Clooney. Other credits include Aubrey in BBC Drama Clique, and ITV’s Grantchester. Jyuddah’s professional theatre career began with Kwame Kwei-Armah’s first show as Artistic Director of the Young Vic – a musical version of Twelfth Night in which he played Sebastian.
David is played by Michael Ahomka-Lindsay. Michael’s musical theatre credentials include the lead role of Jack Kelly in Disney’s Newsies (Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre); Emmett Forrest in Legally Blonde (Regents Park Open Air Theatre) which led to his nomination as Best Actor in a Musical (Black British Theatre Awards); and the role of Benjamin “Benny” Coffin III in RENT (Hope Mill Theatre). Short films include ‘Craig’ in Fart Car.
Khalid Daley plays JR. He recently played John Laurens and Philip Hamilton in the West End production of Hamilton (Victoria Palace) and was in the first UK and Ireland tour of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. He has performed many times with the National Theatre including Dick Whittington and War Horse (UK & International Tour), while TV credits include The Great War (RadicalMedia), Doctors and 4 O’Clock Club: Hollywood (BBC).
The role of Bobby is played by Alistair Nwachukwu. Alistair is a recent graduate of LAMDA and has recently completed the role of Adrik in Season 2 of the Netflix series Shadow and Bone. Choir Boy will be his professional stage debut.
The cast is completed by Daon Broni as Headmaster Marrow and Martin Turner in the role of teacher Mr Pendleton.
Daon Broni’s extensive theatre credits include Girl on An Altar, Holy Sh!t and One Under (all Kiln Theatre); Two Horsemen (Jermyn Street Theatre), Women Beware Women and Henry IV Parts 1&2 (both Shakespeare’s Globe); Macbeth (Royal Exchange Manchester); Slaves of Solitude (Hampstead Theatre); The Observer (National Theatre); The Changeling (ETT); The Canterbury Tales (RSC) and Blue/Orange (Duchess Theatre). His TV includes: Holier Than Thou, Holby City, Doctors, Waterloo Road, Casualty and Teachers.
Martin Turner’s stage career has included lead roles for Cheek by Jowl (including Oberon/Theseus in their world tour of A Midsummer Night’s Dream), the RSC, Liverpool Everyman, Manchester Royal Exchange, Shakespeare’s Globe, Birmingham Rep, Sheffield Crucible and many more. On the West End stage, he played Evelyn Oakleigh opposite Elaine Paige in Anything Goes, and Pierre Guerre in Martin Guerre (both at the Prince Edward Theatre); he was a memorable Banquo in Rupert Goold’s highly acclaimed Macbeth with Patrick Stewart, which transferred to New York’s BAM Harvey Theatre and Broadway; he played Juror 11 in Twelve Angry Men at the Garrick and most recently the Doctor in Florian Zeller’s The Son at the Duke of York’s Theatre.