Chiwetel Ejiofor is returning to his stage roots next summer, when he’ll play the Congolese nationalist hero Patrice Lumumba, in “A Season in the Congo”, by Martinique poet and political activist Aimé Césaire.
The play will be staged at London’s Young Vic from July 6 – August 10 201.
Lumumba was the first prime minister of the newly independent Congo after its release from colonialist Belgian rule. However, his plans for the future of the country were considered too radical and threatening by some, and he was overthrown in a coup, and assassinated in 1961 in a CIA-backed plot.
The playwright Césaire was born in Martinique and educated in Paris – a revolutionary artist and lifelong political activist, who founded the Martinique Independent Revolution Party, as well as the literary and ideological movement known as Négritude (along with Léopold Sédar Senghor), and was well known for his intense personal opposition to Western imperialism and racism.
He was the subject of a 1994 documentary directed by Euzhan Palcy.
Despite never having directed a play at a London theatre, Joe Wright is no stranger to the world having been brought up at the Angel Theatre where his parents worked. In film he directed Pride & Prejudice, Atonement, Hanna, and his latest project, a new film version of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina with Keira Knightley, opens next month in the U.S.
Ejiofor (Children of Men and Dirty Pretty Things) is similarly better known for his contributions to film. It will be Ejiofor’s first return to the stage since winning an Olivier award in 2008 for his Othello at the Donmar Warehouse.
Lumumba’s life was encapsulated in film by director Raoul Peck in his 2000 movie Lumumba.
More from CaribbeanCelebs.com: