It’s 1973 and the West Indies have spectacularly beaten England at their own game, in their own backyard.
Shakie, an 18-year old super-savvy wheeler-dealer, is in his element – and not just because of the cricket. Life is good: his furniture business is making serious money and he owns a flat on the King’s Road, the epicentre of everything that’s cool. Moreover, his best friend Stumpie has come up with a plan to crack the booming music industry together - the possibilities are endless so when Shakie’s ex-lover Jackie arrives at the Chelsea flat, the trio toast the future.
The champagne is flowing and ambition is running sky high - but how far will they go, and who will they sacrifice, in their quest to be rich beyond their wildest dreams?
The Death of a Black Man received its world premiere at Hampstead in 1975. 46 years on, Alfred Fagon’s darkly compelling drama, with its witty and complex characters, remains compulsive viewing today.
Alfred Fagon was a soldier, boxing champion, a welder, actor, poet and playwright. The leading theatre award for Black British writers is named in his honour: alfredfagonaward.co.uk
Dawn Walton was the Founder Artistic Director of Eclipse Theatre and makes her Hampstead Theatre debut. Her most recent productions include The Gift (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Red Dust Road (NT Scotland) and Black Men Walking (Royal Court).
A frustrating museum piece
Fagon is a great wordsmith
This is an expert at work, and it’s a marvel to experience
Uncomfortable truths beneath the poisoned patter in revival of Alfred Fagon's 1975 play
Mert Dilek writes on Dawn Walton’s revival of Alfred Fagon’s incendiary play, ‘a crucible in which questions of race, class, and gender intermingle’.
Less a drama than a free-flowing debate
Expansive but cumbersome revival
Just as relevant today as when the play premiered
Alfred Fagon's play makes a triumphant return to Hampstead 46 years on from its debut
A funny and provocative revival
Incendiary, if somewhat dated
An inflammatory study of social mobility