Lyric Hammersmith reveals cast for three new plays by leading writers

Last Updated on 18 May 2021 by Showcall Editorial Team

The Lyric Hammersmith in London has found its cast for Out West, a triple bill that brings together new plays by Tanika Gupta, Simon Stephens and Roy Williams

Lyric Hammersmith Out West cast
Esh Alladi, Tom Mothersdale and Ayesha Antoine. Photos: Helen Maybanks

Casting has been announced for Out West, three new short plays by leading UK writers, which will mark the reopening of the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre in London.

The production will feature Esh Alladi as a young Gandhi in Tanika Gupta’s The Overseas Student, Tom Mothersdale as new father Jack in Simon Stephens’ Blue Water and Cold and Fresh, and Ayesha Antoine as security guard Donna in Roy Williams’ Go, Girl.

The three short plays run live each night on stage from 18 June to 24 July, with social distancing, and will also be streamed online from 12 to 17 July.

Out West explores race, geography, identity, belonging and hope rooted in multicultural England of past and present.

The triple bill is co-directed by the Lyric’s artistic director, Rachel O’Riordan, with Diane Page who this week received the 2021 JMK Award celebrating directors and designers with exciting creative visions.

Costume design is by Soutra Gilmour, lighting design by Jessica Hung Han Yun and composition and sound design by Simon Slater.

Gupta’s The Overseas Student is described as a sharp and witty reimagining of Gandhi’s formative student years in Victorian England as he is awed by wealth, women, lifestyle and food.

Stephens’ Blue Water and Cold and Fresh, set in 2020, confronts white male privilege in the wake of city lockdown living and Black Lives Matter protests and is a heartfelt exploration of what it means to be a husband, father and son.

Williams’ Go, Girl, set in the present day, follows Donna who once performed for First Lady Michelle Obama at school but is now a shopping centre security guard and mum to a teenage daughter, yet she discovers her brilliance in the face of adversity in this celebratory story of Black female empowerment and everyday heroism.

About Mark Ludmon 318 Articles
Mark Ludmon has been a journalist for over 20 years, specialising in theatre, hospitality and drinks after starting in regional daily newspapers. He has an MA in early modern literature and history, focusing on Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, and a theatre studies MA from Royal Central School of Speech & Drama. He is a former panellist for the Olivier Awards. He tweets at @MarkLudmon.