Chiwetel Ejiofor is returning to his stage roots next summer, when he’ll play the Congolese nationalist hero Patrice Lumumba, in poet and political activist Aimé Césaire‘s play, A Season in the Congo, at the Young Vic in London, next summer July 6 – August 10.
Lumumba was the first prime minister of the newly independent Congo after its release from colonialist Belgian rule. However, his plans for the future of the country were considered too radical and threatening by some, and he was overthrown in a coup, and assassinated in 1961 in a CIA-backed plot.
Of course, many of you will remember that a film about the life of Lumumba was the subject of Raoul Peck’s 2000 movie.
The playwright Césaire was born in Martinique and educated in Paris – a revolutionary artist and lifelong political activist, who founded the Martinique Independent Revolution Party, as well as the literary and ideological movement known as Négritude (along with Léopold Sédar Senghor), and was well known for his intense personal opposition to Western imperialism and racism.
He was the subject of a 1994 documentary directed by Euzhan Palcy.
This new production at the Old Vic will be directed by filmmaker Joe Wright who directed Pride & Prejudice, Atonement, Hanna, and whose latest film, a new film version of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina with Keira Knightley, opens next month in the U.S.
Go HERE to find out more about the Old Vic production.