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NEWS: Major new revival of A Raisin in the Sun

15 February 2024

A fresh new staging of A Raisin in the Sun by director Tinuke Craig (Trouble in Butetown, Donmar Warehouse; Jitney, Leeds Playhouse and Old Vic; Crave, Chichester Festival Theatre; The Color Purple, Leicester Curve and Birmingham Hippodrome) will come to Nottingham Playhouse in November, in a co-production with Headlong, Leeds Playhouse and Lyric Hammersmith Theatre.

Groundbreaking, pioneering and challenging, Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun broke barriers as the first play by a Black woman on Broadway. This classic family drama full of humour and heart, remains relevant and powerful in a world still divided by inequality.

In a rented apartment on Chicago’s South Side, the Younger family is full of hope, dreams, grief, and big plans. Their beloved father has died, and the money from his life insurance policy could change their lives.

Mama wants to put down roots in a home of her own. Her daughter Beneatha has her heart set on becoming a doctor. But her son Walter Lee thinks the money is his to spend — and he’s willing to sacrifice his values and his family to get what he wants. Each must face what it means to escape the confines of a segregated society. How do you create a meaningful life in a world designed to keep you down?

Director Tinuke Craig said:

“It is a privilege to once again work alongside the creative powerhouse that is Headlong in their 50th year after collaborating on Jitney in 2022 whilst continuing my ongoing Artistic Associate role with Lyric Hammersmith Theatre. Now, the time is right to bring Lorraine Hansberry’s classic A Raisin in the Sun back to the stage in a relevant, fresh new production for today.”

Adam Penford, Artistic Director at Nottingham Playhouse, said:

It’s a thrill to be collaborating with Headlong again, after the major success of our previous co-production, 1984, on both sides of the Atlantic. Frequently featured in lists of the best plays ever written, A Raisin in the Sun still resonates powerfully today, and Tinuke’s masterful direction will deliver the humour and humanity at the heart of this masterpiece.”

The play’s title comes from the poem Harlem by Langstone Hughes:

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up

      like a raisin in the sun?

      Or fester like a sore —

      And then run?

      Does it stink like rotten meat?

      Or crust and sugar over —

      like a syrupy sweet?


      Maybe it just sags

      like a heavy load.


      Or does it explode?

 “A play that changed American theatre forever.” – The New York Times

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