A fictional account based on true events, Kemp Powers’ One Night in Miami..., presented by Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company, produced by special arrangement with ABKCO, focuses on four friends, all on the cusp of becoming legends: newly crowned heavyweight champion Cassius Clay (Conor Glean); activist Malcolm X (Christopher Colquhoun); American Football star turned actor Jim Brown (Miles Yekinni); and soul singer Sam Cooke (Matt Henry).
Set in February 1964 in the midst of the civil rights movement, the four men are celebrating Clay’s World Heavyweight Boxing win over Sonny Liston in a Miami hotel room. Kemp Powers’ tough-talking drama imagines what might have taken place in that room that night, as the black icons tease each other, have passionate arguments on race and power, and share their dreams of a better life for all.
The play will be directed by Matthew Xia, one of the UK's most exciting theatre directors, known for his innovative and thought-provoking productions including Blue/Orange at the Young Vic, and Into the Woods and Frankenstein at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester.
“One Night in Miami... lets us into that historic room where we get to see these icons as friends, as well as being allies in the civil rights movement,” says Matthew Xia. “It explores the responsibilities that come with being a successful Black man in 1964 America - and how these conversations resonate today.
“The evening is full of laughter, bonhomie between brothers, and a fair bit of tension as they work out what the next steps are for the movement and how best to lift an entire people. And of course, there is some amazing music from the era, including Sam Cooke’s anthemic ‘A Change is Gonna Come’.”
Cassius Clay is played by Conor Glean, familiar to Manchester audiences from appearances in Mother Courage and Her Children, Queens of The Coal Age, and Scuttlers, all at the Royal Exchange Theatre; Malcolm X is played by Christopher Colquhoun, who has TV credits in Fleabag, Midsomer Murders, Silent Witness, and Casualty; Miles Yekinni, with theatre credits in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Royal Lyceum Theatre) and War Horse (New London Theatre) is Jim Brown; while The Voice UK finalist Matt Henry, who won the Best Actor in a Musical Olivier-award for Kinky Boots in 2016, plays Sam Cooke.
The cast is completed by Oseloka Obi and Andre Squire as two members of the Nation of Islam’s security troop, protecting the four men against the realities of the world outside the motel room.
Tue 2 July 2019, 19:30 (press night performance) Wed 3 July 2019, 19:30
Thu 4 July 2019, 14:00
Thu 4 July 2019, 19:30
Fri 5 July 2019, 19:30
£10, £23 (concessions £5)