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In Rehearsals for A Raisin in the Sun

Posted on 7 March 2016

Harlem By Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

With less than a month until Lorraine Hansberry’s landmark play, A Raisin in the Sun, visits our B2 studio – we caught up with cast members Angela Wynter and Ashley Zhangazha to find out more about the play and the turbulent social and political history which inspired it.

This intense family drama, written on the cusp of the civil rights era, sees the Younger family await the arrival of a cheque for a life changing $10,000. Driven to conflict as they encounter issues of inequality, housing and lack of opportunity that continue to resonate today, the play acts as a stark warning to anyone who measures happiness and personal worth in capital gain.

Following its debut on Broadway in 1959, Lorraine Hansberry adapted her play into a critically-acclaimed film starring Sidney Poitier as Walter. Testament to its continuing power and relevance, A Raisin in the Sun has been revived numerous times in the intervening years and Walter has been portrayed on stage by actors including Denzel Washington and Danny Glover.

The inspiration for Nina Simone’s much-loved song ‘Young, Gifted and Black’, Lorraine Hansberry won the New York Drama Critics’ Best Play of the Year Award at just 29 years old, becoming the first Black woman to do so. Before her untimely death at the age of just 34, Hansberry was a keen activist, applauded by many as an inspirational figure.

A Raisin in the Sun visits B2 from Tues 22 – Sat 26 March. Tickets are priced from £12 – £27 with concessions available. To book, call the Box Office on 024 7655 3055 or visit www.belgrade.co.uk where tickets are cheaper.

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