Alex Wheatle’s book Crongton Knights has been adapted for the stage by Emteaz Hussain. The co-production with York Theatre Royal, Belgrade Theatre Coventry and Derby Theatre is heading to York for its world premiere from 25th – 29th February.
The play follows McKay and his friends as they set out on a mission to save their friend. Beatboxing and songs created by acclaimed musician Conrad Murray will play alongside the dialogue, creating an interesting new style of theatre.
Author Alex Wheatle said: “I am very proud that Pilot Theatre are adapting my novel, Crongton Knights, for the stage. It’s a modern quest story where on their journey, the young diverse lead characters have to confront debt, poverty, blackmail, loss, fear, the trauma of a flight from a foreign land and the omnipresent threat of gangland violence.”
Playwright Emteaz Hussain said: “On my first reading of Crongton Knights, I immediately recognised the intricate, multicultural, working class world that Alex Wheatle had vividly created. The unflinching brutality tempered by bighearted grace and the dignity afforded to the characters that I related to. I loved how these disparate young people struggled to bond in order to overcome such insurmountable obstacles in their young lives, and I jumped at the chance to adapt this for stage.”
The case will feature Kate Donnachie, Zak Douglas, Simi Egbejumi-David, Nigar Yeva, Olisa Odele, Aimee Powell, Khai Shaw and Marcel White. I’ve not seen any of the performers before, but they have all got extensive and impressive credits.
Crongton Knights is the second of four co-productions between each of the participating theatres, as they aim to create more accessible theatre that appeals to young people. The consortium’s first production, Noughts & Crosses, was seen by over 30,000 people on tour with 40 per cent of the audience being aged under 20.
To find out more and to book tickets, visit the York Theatre Royal website.
Photograph credited to Robert Day