Casting is set for the 30th anniversary production of Jonathan Harvey’s coming-out and coming-of-age story Beautiful Thing, which will play three U.K. venues this fall.
Directed by Anthony Simpson-Pike, the production will open at Stratford East September 8-October 7 before playing Leeds Playhouse October 18-28 and, subsequently, HOME Manchester October 31–November 11.
The cast will feature Raphael Akuwudike (Romeo and Juliet, Sons of the Prophet) as Ste and Joshua Asaré (Safe, Comedy Troll) as Jamie with Trieve Blackwood-Cambridge as Tony, Shvorne Marks as Sandra, and Scarlett Rayner as Leah.
Beautiful Thing follows teenage boys Ste and Jamie, who are neighbors in South London and are both being bullied—Jamie at school and Ste at home by his violent father and brother. One night, when things get too much, Ste seeks refuge in Jamie's flat and, sharing a bed, the boys strike up a new relationship.
Director Simpson-Pike says: “Beautiful Thing is an iconic queer story that holds a special place in so many people's hearts. Many people saw their own stories on stage and screen for the first time. In its 30th anniversary year, I feel excited for people who look like me to see their own stories reflected on stage, too, to feel that same stirring of recognition in this seminal piece. Black queer people have always been around, this beautiful story of discovering your true self and falling in love belongs to all of us.”
The upcoming production will also have set and costume design by Rosie Elnile, lighting design by Elliot Griggs, sound design by Xana, movement and intimacy direction by Annie-Lunnette Deakin-Foster, casting by Isabella Odoffin, associate direction by Robert Awosusi, fight direction by Bret Yount, costume supervision by Jackie Orton, and voice and dialect coaching by Joel Trill. The production drama therapist is Wabriya King, and the casting assistant is Joanna Sturrock.
The forthcoming tour is presented by Theatre Royal Stratford East, Leeds Playhouse, and HOME Manchester.