Leeds Playhouse, Theatre Royal Stratford East and HOME Manchester today announce cast and creatives for a new production to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Jonathan Harvey’s coming-out and coming-of-age story Beautiful Thing, directed by Anthony Simpson-Pike.
Raphael Akuwudike (Ste) and Joshua Asaré (Jamie) will lead the cast and are joined by Trieve Blackwood-Cambridge (Tony), Shvorne Marks (Sandra) and Scarlett Rayner (Leah).
Commenting on his new production, Director Anthony 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.”
Beautiful Thing opens at Stratford East from 8 September–7 October, before transferring to Leeds Playhouse 18–28 October and HOME Manchester 31 October–11 November.
Teenage boys Ste and Jamie are neighbours on a South London estate. Jamie is more knowledgeable about The Sound of Music than football, while classmate Ste never misses a sports day. Both are 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. Together they come to terms with their sexuality and explore their feelings alongside their Mama Cass loving, rebellious friend Leah and with the much-needed emotional support of Jamie’s lioness mother, Sandra.
This 30th anniversary revival of Jonathan Harvey’s iconic, coming-out and coming-of-age story set in the nineties, is about community, friendship, rites of passage and what it is to be 16 and in love.
Beautiful Thing is a touching, urban love story, full of warmth and humour.