The Convert

The Convert

Young Vic · 07 DEC - 26 JAN

Black Panther star and Tony-nominated writer Danai Gurira’s striking play explores the impact of colonialism and Catholicism on black identity.

Lyn Gardner avatar
6 December 2018  ·  Follow on Stagedoor
“Christianity and colonialism walk hand in hand in Danai Gurira’s play, previously seen at the Gate theatre in 2017, but now getting a brand new production with Black Panther star Letitia Wright and the terrific Paapa Essioedu, such a brilliant Hamlet for the RSC. It is 1896, in what is now Zimbabwe, and to escape a forced marriage Jekesai converts to Christianity and becomes a servant in the home of a black African Catholic priest who has become more English than the English. But has she jumped out of the pan and into the fire? And is there a price to be paid? This is an absorbing play which now gets a chance to be seen more widely.”


It’s 1896 and Jekesai, a young Shona woman fleeing forced marriage, finds herself working for a devout Catholic. Chilford dreams of being an English priest and relishes the opportunity to mould his new convert. But Jekesai’s salvation has its price as her individuality is slowly stripped away…

Critic reviews

A devastating entanglement of faith, family and colonial violence

The Upcoming

Letitia Wright, captures with satisfying complexity Ester’s mix of naivety, excitement and confusion as she’s obliged to choose between two identities

Evening Standard

Wright is just a marvel, watchful and wonderful, quite often standing absolutely still but conveying worlds with her eyes, her expression or a flex of the hand


Soul-achingly brilliant staging of Danai Gurira’s play, performed by a uniformly superb cast

The Stage

Though all the twists in the final section may not quite be believable, the darkening drama is still gripping

The Indpendent

Paapa Essiedu and Black Panther’s Letitia Wright are captivating in Danai Gurira’s story of religious and linguistic colonialism

The Guardian

An electrifying staging of a moving play about faith, identity, colonialism, the interplay between all three and the trauma of those trapped in the middle

Financial Times

Danai Gurira’s play is a brilliant exploration of the clashes between cultural traditions and colonial influences


Date & time

Show ended
Fri 7 Dec - Sat 26 Jan, 2.30pm & 7.30pm


Young Vic
66 The Cut, Waterloo SE1 8LZ London, UK · Get Directions
out of 5 stars
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