A powerful and urgent exploration about how society stereotypes Black masculinity is the subject of a brand-new film created by award-winning creative movement Nouveau Riche and Soho Theatre, London’s leading producer of new theatre, comedy and cabaret.
Typical, written by Ryan Calais Cameron, initially directed for the stage and now for the screen by Anastasia Osei-Kuffour, uncovers the man and the humanity behind the tragic real-life story of Christopher Alder, a Black British ex-serviceman.
First performed in 2019 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe before the hit play transferred to Soho Theatre for a sell-out run, this work has been revived to be filmed during the Covid-19 outbreak and shot adhering to social distancing guidelines, on location at Soho Theatre.
Hollyoaks regular and former EastEnders star Richard Blackwood reprises the critically acclaimed part he played in Typical, the stage version. The versatile actor has a career that spans 30 years across stage and screen and was the first Black comic to have his own TV show in the UK. For Typical, he delivers an intense, multi-rolling monologue, that is at times both harrowing and darkly comedic. The tragic storyline highlights the crisis of identity consuming Britain today and how little progress has been made in race relations in the twenty years since Christopher’s story emerged.
Playwright Ryan Calais Cameron said: “Typical is the story of a Black man that is just a man when he is in the comfort of his home, but as he leaves, he must navigate through society’s ideas and prejudices about what it means to be Black.
“I believe this play is vital and should be seen as widely as possible, particularly now given the far overdue global fight for freedom, justice and liberation from overt, covert, and systemic racism. Typical is a slice of our history, that hopes to give insight, education and hope for a better future.”
Soho Theatre’s Creative Director David Luff added: “Ryan Calais Cameron is a superb new writer and in Typical has created a piece which deals respectfully with past tragic events whilst shining a bright spotlight on injustice in contemporary British society. We first met Ryan on our Writers’ Lab programme, before watching his superb hit production of Queens of Sheba. On reading Typical, we knew straight away that this was a piece that needed to be produced. We were completely taken by the power, beauty and lyricism of Ryan’s writing and supported him in mounting the show in Edinburgh and London.
“The process of adapting the play for screen in this Covid-19 period has been challenging but hugely rewarding, bringing together a superb team of theatre and film creatives. We are extremely proud to have co-produced this new filmed version at Soho Theatre and eager for it to find a wide audience.”
The release date for Typical will be announced shortly.
Photo credit: Franklyn Rodgers