Casting has been announced for the powerful new drama PROUD by Bren Gosling (Moment of Grace, The Actors Centre; Invisible Me, Studio at New Wimbledon Theatre), which will open at New Wimbledon Theatre’s Studio this autumn. PROUD brings together the talents of Roger Ajogbe (The Internship, AC Studios; Unknown (To You), Jacob Banks|Interscope), Kiren Kebaili-Dwyer (Toussaint L’Ouverture, BBC) and Levi Goldmeier, who will be making his professional debut.
PROUD tells a moving story of conflict and connection. After his Pentecostal mother dies, Roland – black and 40 years old – is liberated to live openly as a gay man. He relocates from Brixton to E17, where he unexpectedly falls for Amir, a 21-year-old 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 15-year-old son, Gary. What binds these three characters together is the desire to know and understand one another as they struggle to come to terms with their own identities.
Bren Gosling’s PROUD overturns expectations and transcends the specificity of its characters to shed light on the traumatic impact of racism, homophobia and displacement. This insightful new play will be brought to the stage in a bold and compelling production by director Marlie Haco (Lovesick, Hope Theatre; Words Without Consent, Southwark Playhouse).
Director Marlie Haco comments, PROUD has been a long time in the making, but this version of 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.
PROUD is part of Ambassador Theatre Group’s Premiere Season at New Wimbledon Theatre and was longlisted for the 2020 Radius Playwriting Prize.