Cast announced for the JMK Award Winning production of Arinzé Kene’s LITTLE BABY JESUS

Anyebe Godwin, Rachel Nwokoro and Khai Shaw will appear in the first major revival of Arinzé Kene’s Little Baby Jesus, directed by Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu, winner of the JMK Award 2019. The production is designed by Tara Usher, lighting by Bethany Gupwell, sound by Nicola Chung, movement by DK Fashola and casting by Nadine Rennie and Sarah Murray.

 There are hundreds of £15 Tickets available. There will also be Young People’s Takeover Week from 28 October – 2 November, including free workshops for under 30s from Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu and the cast on 29 & 30 October, a post-show panel discussion ‘What is the future of Youth Culture?’ following the performance on 31 October, and a response to the play from the OT Young Company following the matinee on 2 November. There will also be spoken word performers before and after each show – line up to be announced.

 Okay listen up, you have seventy-five years to be all you can be!

Joanne is dipped in rudeness, rolled in attitude and is fighting to keep her life afloat. Sensitive and mature he may be, yet Kehinde struggles with an obsession for mixed race girls as he eyes his place on the social ladder. Rugrat, class clown and playground loudmouth, just wants to make it past GCSEs and keep their name on the tip of your tongue.

As their lives collide and intertwine, three extraordinary young people relay the moments they ‘grew up’. Three remarkable stories. Three incredible journeys.

Arinzé Kene is a writer and performer. His most recent one man play, Misty, ran at the Bush Theatre and Trafalgar Studios, and was nominated two Olivier nominations for Best New Play and Best Actor. Little Baby Jesus was first performed at Oval House Theatre in 2011 and saw Kene win the Most Promising Playwright Award at the Off-West End Theatre Awards. His acting credits include Death of a Salesman (Young Vic), and Girl from the North Country (The Old Vic/West End)

This production marks a new partnership between the OT and The JMK Award. The Award provides Fynn-Aiduenu with the opportunity to direct a full-scale Orange Tree show with the production values and nurturing guidance the building is famous for.

James Menzies-Kitchin was a theatre director of thrilling promise. The JMK Trust was founded in his memory to give practical learning opportunities to theatre directors of similar ability and vision. The JMK Award allows one such director a year to stage their own production of a classic text.

As a director, 24-year-old Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu’s credits include Sweet Like Chocolate (Jack Theatre Studio), Melanin Box Festival (Theatre Peckham), Fresh Direction as part of the Young Vic’s My EnglandTimbuktu (Theatre Royal Stratford East), and Black Attack (Bush Theatre). As an Assistant Director, his work includes The Brothers Size (Young Vic), Soapbox (Central School of Speech and Drama/Embassy Theatre/Talawa Theatre, and D and Suffocation (Ovalhouse). Tristan is an Associate Creative of Initiative.dkf.

Anyebe Godwin’s theatre credits includes Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (UK tour); Stopcock (Southwark Playhouse); Manifest (Oval House); Namibia Nao! (Stonecrabs/Soho Theatre); Four Minutes Twelves Seconds (Trafalgar Studios/Hampstead Theatre); Pandora’s Box (UK tour/Spora Stories); GI Joe in Dorset (State of Play).  TV includes Dreaming Whilst Black, Autopsy: Last Hours of Notorious B.I.G., and The Evermoor Chronicles.

Rachel Nwokoro trained at Arts Educational Schools, from where she has just graduated. She was part of the Roundhouse Poetry Collective 2016-17 and the Roundhouse Resident Artist 2017-18. Her debut collection of poetry, Little You, was recently published.

Khai Shaw trained at Rose Bruford College, from where he has just graduated.

Theatre includes Decades (Bridge Theatre Company); Joe’s Birthday Party (Old Red Lion); and The Railway Children (Waterloo Railway Theatre); Daddy Cool: The Musical (Shaftesbury Theatre); The Lion King (Disney); and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (London Palladium). TV includes Meet the Adebanjos, and The Complete Guide to Parenting.