Lorraine Hansberry

Plays by Lorraine Hansberry

video Les Blancs (NT)

National Theatre
Type: Video

Age recommendation: 15+ (contains mature themes and references to racism)

This production is an archival recording captured in 2016.

An African country teeters on the edge of civil war. A society prepares to drive out its colonial present and claim an independent future. Racial tensions boil over. Tshembe, returned home from England for his father’s funeral, finds himself in the eye of the storm.

A family and a nation fall apart under the pressure to determine their own identity as this brave, illuminating and powerful play confronts the hope and tragedy of revolution.

Les Blancs marked the National Theatre debut of the multi-award-winning director Yaël Farber, whose productions include The Crucible (Old Vic) and the internationally-acclaimed Mies Julie and Nirbhaya.

Written eleven years after A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry’s final drama is an unknown masterpiece of the American stage and a highly theatrical search for the soul of post-colonial Africa.

For teacher resources, visit this page.

The Woman: Sheila Atim
Abioseh Matoseh: Gary Beadle
Peter: Sidney Cole
Charlie Morris: Elliot Cowan
Dr Willy Dekoven: James Fleet
Major George Rice: Clive Francis
Eric: Tunji Kasim
Dr Martha Gotterling: Anna Madeley
Ngago: Roger Jean Nsengiyumva
Madame Neilsen: Siân Phillips
Tshembe Matoseh: Danny Sapani
Boy: Fola Akintola
Boy: Xhanti Mbonzongwana
Boy: Tumo Reetsang
Matriarchs and Singers (Ngqoko Cultural Group): Nofenishala Mvotyo
Ensemble: Anna-Maria Nabirye
Matriarchs and Singers (Ngqoko Cultural Group): Nogcinile Yekani Moaqobiso
Matriarchs and Singers (Ngqoko Cultural Group): Mpahleni (Madosini) Latozi
Singer: Joyce Moholoagae

Director: Yaël Farber
Designer: Soutra Gilmour
Lighting Designer: Tim Lutkin
Music and Sound: Adam Cork
Movement Director: Imogen Knight
Fight Director: Kev McCurdy
Dramaturg: Drew Lichtenberg

Lorraine Hansberry was born in 1930 in Southside, Chicago. Her first play, A Raisin in the Sun, opened in March 1959 and made history by being the first play written by a female black author to be staged on Broadway and won the New York Critics' Circle Award. Her career was cut short by her death when she was only 34.