Why See The Convert?
Danai Gurira's Critically Acclaimed Work Returns To London
Tony-nominated playwright Danai Gurira, widely known for her screen roles in The Walking Dead and Black Panther, brings her critically acclaimed 2012 drama The Convert to the Young Vic this winter. Drawing on her own Zimbabwean heritage, Gurira boldly explores themes of religion, colonialism, identity and faith in a visceral production that echoes George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion in its tragic poetry, simmering tensions and raw emotion.
Performed by a British cast including fellow Black Panther actress Letitia Wright, RSC regular Paapa Essiedu and Humans actor Ivaano Jeremiah, The Convert is set in a mission house in Salisbury (now called Harare), Rhodesia (now called Zimbabwe), in the late 1800s. The house is overseen by black converted Catholic teacher Chilford, who's adopted the European mannerisms and speech of those he answers to. Chilford's attentions are focused on Jekesai, a young girl of the Shona tribe whom he has saved from an arranged marriage, converted and renamed Ester. Whilst she has forsaken her family and old ways, testing times lie ahead and force her to re-examine her newly forged loyalties.
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