The new play from the playwright will be presented at the theatre from the 20th April until the 27th May.

Kiln Theatre’s Artistic Director Indhu Rubasingham has announced the world premiere of Retrograde, a play based on the a true event in the life of actor Sidney Poitier in 1960s Hollywood. 

Directed by Kiln Associate Director Amit Sharma (The Boy with Two Hearts, Then Barbara Met Alan), Ryan Calais Cameron’s new play explores identity, resilience, and integrity as it examines a true event in 1960’s Hollywood and the reality of a Black actor’s journey to stardom.

Ryan Calais Cameron’s plays include For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets Too Heavy (Nouveau Riche/Boundless/New Diorama/Royal Court Theatre – Black British Theatre Awards 2022 –  Best Production Play Award, he was the winner of Best Director Award alongside Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu, and also joint-winner of Best Performer in a Play at 2022 Stage Debut Awards), Living Newspaper and My White Best Friend (and Other Letters Left Unsaid), (Royal Court Theatre). Talking about the play he said: “What drew me to writing a play about the Hollywood Blacklist is the intricacies around the idea of what it means to be Blacklisted and also Black. Retrograde tells the unheard story how Sidney Poitier, the cultural icon that we know and love, came to be and the huge decision he had to make. It explores what it feels to be an artist of colour, and the decisions and challenges we navigate on a day-to-day basis. It’s the right time to tell this story and ask these questions – the play explores what was, but also what is.”

Meanwhile, Indhu Rubasingham said: “It’s a real privilege to be producing Ryan Calais Cameron’s next play following his smash hit For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy… Directed by Associate Director Amit Sharma, this brand new play about Sidney Poitier promises to be both insightful and relevant.”

While casting has yet to be announced for the production, the creative team is set to include: designs by Frankie Bradshaw, lighting design by Amy Mae, sound design by Beth Duke, casting direction by Juliet Horsley CDG and Kiln-Mackintosh Resident Assistant Director Jessica Mensah.

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