West End transfer for Shifters from the Bush Theatre to the Duke of York’s starring Heather Agyepong & Tosin Cole

The Bush Theatre’s acclaimed production of Benedict Lombe’s new play Shifters is transferring into the West End.

Shifters will play the West End’s Duke of York’s Theatre in London for a limited 9 week run from 12 August to 12 October 2024.

The production will once again star Tosin Cole (Doctor Who) as Des and Heather Agyepong (The Power, School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play) as Dre, following their sold-out run in Shifters at the Bush Theatre earlier this year.

This fierce romance sees tragedy bring two people back into each other’s lives, carrying new secrets and old scars. The show was almost universally loved by London’s theatre critics, getting four stars and positives notices in a range of reviews.

Writer Benedict Lombe (Lava) is a Black British Theatre Award winner and Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for Playwriting. This production is directed by Bush Theatre Artistic Director Lynette Linton (August in England, Clyde’s, Blues for an Alabama Sky).

The creative team of Shifters also includes Set and Costume Design by Alex Berry, Lighting Design by Neil Austin, Sound Design by Tony Gayle, Composition by Xana, Movement and Intimacy Direction by Shelley Maxwell, Production Dramaturg is Deirdre O’Halloran, Voice Coach is Joel Trill and Casting by Heather Basten CDG.

Shifters is playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre in London from 12 August to 12 October 2024.

Currently playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre is Tom Holland in Romeo & Juliet directed by Jamie Lloyd, booking to 3 August 2024.

Currently playing at the Bush Theatre is My Father’s Fable to 27 July 2024

Book tickets to Shifters at the Duke of York’s Theatre London

What They Said

Writer Benedict Lombe said:

Shifters’ transfer is a big moment. Our dreamy, tender, unrepentantly romantic show about two lost souls finding a connection that can’t be forgotten was a hit with Bush audiences. Now we get to recreate our magic on a bigger stage! I hope what Shifters does – as well as invite new audiences to fall in love with Des and Dre – is accelerate the pace for the next wave of Black British female playwrights in the West End.”

Director and Artistic Director of the Bush Theatre Lynette Linton said:

”We’re incredibly proud that Shifters is moving from the Bush to the West End – our second transfer this year. At the Bush we’re all about supporting writers to build sustainable careers, and we’ve loved working with Benedict over three commissions. Benedict writes dialogue and romance in a way that no one else can, and it is my privilege to get to direct her words and reunite with Heather and Tosin. We are so excited to tell this story of Black love on such a big platform – I can’t wait for audiences to discover the beauty in this tender, funny and relatable show that is the perfect summer romance.”

Actor Heather Agyepong said:

“Shows written by Black British women or plays centering two dark skin leads often don’t reach West End stages so it really feels like we’re part of a legacy. Our stories in all their nuance and beauty have always mattered but it’s great to be on a bigger platform to allow them to shine a little brighter.”

Actor Tosin Cole said:

“It’s an honour to have Shifters transfer to the West End. I’m really excited for a second chance to tell this amazing story and to work with this group of talented people again.”


Duke of York's Theatre, London

Book tickets

📷 Main photo: Shifters - Bush Theatre starring Tosin Cole and Heather Agyepong. Photo by Craig Fuller

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