In Lorraine Hansberry’s ground-breaking 1959 play, A Raisin in The Sun, about a black family planning a move from the South Side of Chicago to a white neighbourhood, the youngest daughter is set on a different path by moving to Nigeria with her new husband. Now the Young Vic’s Kwame Kwei-Armah takes up her story in a new play that sees Beneatha moving into a new house in a white neighbourhood in Lagos. Over 60 years later, Beneatha, now a successful academic, returns to the house to confront the ghosts of colonialism.
Beneatha’s Place, written and directed by Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah, will have its UK premiere this summer. This blistering satirical drama about history, power and the cost of letting go is inspired by the ground-breaking 1950s’ civil rights drama A Raisin in the Sun. Lagos, 1959. The newly married Beneatha, and her Nigerian husband, rising political star, Joseph Asagi Funmilayo, are moving into their home in the white suburbs. But soon overbearing aunties and mysterious neighbours descend, pulling the young couple into the political storm of Nigerian independence and changing their lives forever. Lagos, current day. A group of Ivy League professors meet with Beneatha in the same house to decide the future of their university. As they debate whose histories should be taught, and whose privileges examined, tensions threaten to reach breaking point. Content warnings: This show contains strong language, racism and racial slurs, references to death, and themes of political violence, grief and bereavement. There are also explosion sound effects.