Casting has been announced for the powerful new drama PROUD, a new play written by Bren Gosling (Moment of Grace, The Actors Centre; Invisible Me, Studio at New Wimbledon Theatre), and directed by Marlie Haco (Lovesick, Hope Theatre; Chinese Boxing, Playground Theatre).
This queer love story tackles themes of race, trauma, religion, and sexuality.
Taofique Folarin (The Lion King, Lyceum theatre; Norma Jean is Dead, Above the Stag; Safe, Hackney Empire) will be playing Roland. After his Pentecostal mother dies, Roland is liberated to live openly as a gay man. He relocates from Brixton to Walthamstow, where he unexpectedly falls for Amir
Andrei Maniata (The White Devil, Tristan Bates Theatre; Children of Killers, Orange Tree Theatre; [BLANK], National Theatre) will play Amir, who is much younger than Roland, and is a refugee with a war-torn past. Their magnetic connection is tested, however, by Amir’s PTSD, his inability to identify as gay and Roland’s strained relationship with his teenage son, Gary, played by Kaine Hatukai (The Secret Love Life of Ophelia, Greenwich Theatre; The Wind in The Willows, Derby Theatre; Robin Hood, Liverpool Everyman).
What binds these characters together is the desire to know and understand one another as they struggle to come to terms with their own identities.
Director Marlie Haco comments, PROUD has been a long time in the making, but the play now feels more relevant than ever, providing a glimpse into the emotional lives of those oppressed by the forces of war, white supremacy, and homophobia. In directing PROUD, I hope to reveal both the light and dark of the protagonists’ experience – the joy to be found in relationships, alongside the pain carried within. For me, this is a story of how the desire for connection can overcome the debilitating effects of our past and stir us to uncover hidden parts of the other.
Adapted by Gosling from his own award-winning novel, The Street Sweeper, the play won a callout by ATG in 2021 and was long-listed for Papatango & Radius Playwriting prizes in 2020.
Proud will be running at the King’s Head Theatre from the 22nd February to 12th March 2022
Find out more, or book your tickets here.