BEFORE THEY WERE ICONS,
THEY WERE SOULMATES.
25 February 1964: Cassius Clay is crowned the new heavyweight champion of the world and celebrates with three of his closest friends– activist Malcolm X, American football icon Jim Brown and soul star Sam Cooke – in a downtown Miami motel room.
That much we know is true. What follows is an imagined account of a fabled real-life event.
Directed by Matthew Xia (director of 2018’s acclaimed production Shebeen) and featuring Sam Cooke’s hit song A Change is Gonna Come, Kemp Powers’ tough-talking, in your- face drama is a play about prejudice and brotherhood, and asks us: on which side of the fence do we stand when hard choices need to be made?
KEMP POWERS is a playwright,
screenwriter and storyteller. His plays include One Night in Miami…, Little Black Shadows, Christa McAuliffe’s Eyes Were Blue, The Two Reds and A Negro by Choice. He received the 2013 Ted Schmitt Award for Outstanding New Play for the world premiere of One Night in Miami... in Los Angeles. That production also won three LA Drama Critics Circle Awards and four NAACP Theatre Awards. One Night’s 2016 production at London’s Donmar Warehouse was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best New Play. Powers’ work has been developed at South Coast Repertory, Denver Center Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, the Classical Theatre of Harlem and Rogue Machine Theatre. In television, he was a writer for "Star Trek: Discovery" (CBS All Access) and he is currently developing several film and television projects. He has toured nationally as a storyteller for the Peabody Award-winning series, "The Moth," and was one of the storytellers published in their New York Times-bestselling book, The Moth: 50 True Stories (Hyperion Press). He resides in Los Angeles.
MATTHEW XIA is the Artistic Director of ATC.
He is a former Associate Artistic Director of the Royal Exchange, Manchester; RTYDS Director in Residence at
Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse; Associate Director of Theatre Royal Stratford East. He is an Associate Artist at Nottingham Playhouse. Directing: Frankenstein, Wish List (also Royal Court), and Into The Woods (Royal Exchange); Blue/Orange and Sizwe Banzi is Dead (Young Vic); Shebeen (Nottingham Playhouse and Stratford East); Blood Knot (Orange Tree), Sleeping Beauty (Stratford East); Scrappers, Migration Music (Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse); Dublin Carol (Sherman Theatre, Cardiff); and NitroBeat’s Suckerpunch Boomsuite (Barbican). Matthew is a founding member of Act for Change, and a trustee of Artistic Directors of the Future
Matt trained at Urdang Academy. He is a British singer and actor who won an Oliver award for playing Lola in the West End production of Kinky Boots. Matt was a finalist on the second series of The Voice. He received an MBE during the Queen’s Christmas honours list in December 2017 for his contribution to theatre.
Theatre includes: The Two Noble
Kinsmen; The Frontline (Shakespeare’s
Globe); Kinky Boots (Adelphi Theatre); Avenue Q (Noël Coward Theatre and National Tour); The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Royal & Derngate); The Rat Pack Live from Las Vegas (Adelphi and UK Tour); Hair (English Theatre
Frankfurt); The Harder They Come (Theatre Royal Stratford East); Saturday Night Fever (UK Tour); Miss Saigon (UK Tour); The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre).
Film credits include: The Muppets Most Wanted (Walt Disney Pictures); Gulliver’s Travels (Fox); One Day (Focus Features).
Christopher has had an extensive career both on stage and screen. He has most recently wrapped on the second season as Crowne in the Amazon Prime thriller, Absentia. Other notable television credits include Fleabag, Vera and Flowers.
On stage, Christopher most recently
appeared in the West End transfer of Mary Stuart. He previously starred in the critically acclaimed Yellowman, directed by Nancy Medina at The Young Vic. He was nominated for Best Actor in a Musical in the hit show The Colour Purple, as well as for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance as Banquo in Matthew Dunster’s Macbeth.
Conor graduated from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in 2018. Theatre includes: Mother Courage And Her Children (Manchester Royal Exchange); Queens Of The Coal Age (Manchester Royal Exchange); Scuttlers (Manchester Royal Exchange); Advent Avenue (Contact Theatre). Theatre whilst training includes: A Raisin In The Sun (Topher Campbell); To Kill A Mockingbird (Anthony Lau); Gidea Park (Hannah Joss); The Wild Duck (Gary Lilburn); August: Osage County (Dan Herd); All’s Well That Ends Well (Jonathan Firth); Hope (Neil Bull); Bleak House (Jeremy Lloyd Thomas).
Theatre: Nathan in When The Lights Go Out (Ovalhouse); Cooper in The Comedy About A Bank Robbery (Criterion Theatre); Bill Slank in Peter and the Starcatcher (Royal and Derngate); Topthorne in War Horse (New London Theatre); Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh).
Film: Sullivan in Of Thread and Almonds
(Fresh Light Ltd); Salerio in The Works (The Works Productions / BBC); Play The Game (Familia Films); Book of the Dead (Walnut Pictures Ltd); Instinct (Partizan); Say Nothing (Feature); Julius Caesar (The Co-Op/BYFA).
Television: Timothy Sexton in The Reluctant Landlord (What Larks!/Sky1); Tall Sagitari in Krypton (DC Ent./Syfy); Seb Gooder (semi-reg) in Doctors (BBC).
Nottingham born actor Andre Squire was trained at BAFTA winning drama group “The Television Workshop” and further trained at popular drama school “Identity School Of Acting”. Credits include Jamie Johnson, Doctors, The Vice, Grapes of Wrath (Stage) Refugee Boy (Stage). Later this year Andre can be seen in BBC1 series Gold Diggers, Bollywood Comedy series Gormint on Amazon Prime and Feature Film Innocent Candy.
Born in London, Oseloka was part of the National Youth Theatre 2018 Rep Company. During Rep he took on various roles, including Macduff in Shakespeare’s Macbeth (The Garrick) directed by Natasha Nixon. His other credits include Victoria’s Knickers (Soho Theatre) directed by Ned Benett, as well as Timbuktu (Stratford East) and Edward II (Greenwich Theatre). This year he performed at the Kiln Theatre in The Son, directed by Michael Longhurst. Oseloka will next be seen in Armando Iannuci’s highly anticipated HBO series, Avenue 5.