Black Panther and The Walking Dead star Danai Gurira is to bring her stage play The Convert, about a girl who converts to Catholicism in 1890s Rhodesia, Africa, to London’s Young Vic theater in December. Kwame Kwei-Armah, the theater’s new artistic director, this morning revealed the drama to be among his debut season, calling it a “modern classic… ripe for interpretation.”
The play, which was first staged as a co-production between the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and the McCarter Theatre in New Jersey in 2012, explores “the impact of colonialism and Catholicism on black identity”. It was first seen in the UK in a 2017 production at London’s Gate Theatre.
Gurira played Wakandan general Okoye in Marvel smash Black Panther, a role she will reprise in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War. Her other plays include 2009’s Tony-award winner Eclipsed, which played in New York with a cast headed by Black Panther co-star Lupita Nyong’o. Gurira was born in the U.S. but grew up in the Zimbabwean capital of Harare.
Kwei-Armah’s buzzed-about debut season at the Young Vic — which is one of the top theatres in London — also includes a musical reworking of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night that will involve members of the local community. The playwright, director and former actor takes over from David Lan who spent 18 years as the south London venue’s artistic director.