Young Vic 2018/19 Season
About The Convert
Black Panther star and Tony-nominated writer Danai Gurira’s striking play explores the impact of colonialism on heritage, history and faith.
It’s 1896 and Jekesai, a young 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…
Tell Me More
Tony-nominated writer and star of “Black Panther” and “The Walking Dead,” Danai Gurira brings her striking play to the Young Vic as part of the 2018-19 season. Set in 1896 in the town of Salisbury in what in now Zimbabwe, a young woman named Jekesai is fleeing a forced marriage and is brought by her aunt to the western-style home of a devout Roman Catholic. Her new master, Chilford, renames her Ester, forces her to wear European clothing, and relishes the opportunity the convert her to his religion. Before long, everything she once had is torn away from her and her allegiance to Chilford means she is now at the centre of anti-colonial riots. When angry villagers who have been forced to work in the mines come to Chilford’s gate, Ester needs to decide where her loyalties ultimately lie.
Letitia Wright (“Black Panther,” “Black Mirror”) stars in this stunning revival, which explores the tension between ancient African traditions and the new culture instilled by British colonial rule. This “intense, harrowing and compelling” (Los Angeles Times) play offers a captivating look at a pivotal moment in history.
What To Watch For
- The play was first staged as a co-production between the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and the McCarter Theatre in New Jersey in 2012.
- Playwright Danai Gurira was born in Iowa but moved to her parents homeland of Zimbabwe when she was just 5.
- Danai Gurira’s Tony-nominated play “Eclipsed,” which starred her “Black Panther” co-star Lupita Nyong'o, was the first show to feature an all black female cast and creative team on Broadway.