Cast and creatives announced for 30th anniversary production of Beautiful Thing

Casting and creatives have been announced for the 30th anniversary production of Beautiful Thing.

Theatre Royal Stratford East, Leeds Playhouse and HOME Manchester have teamed up to present Jonathan Harvey’s coming-out and coming-of-age story.

Raphael Akuwudike (Ste) and Joshua Asaré (Jamie) will lead the cast and are joined by Trieve Blackwood-Cambridge (Tony), Shvorne Marks (Sandra) and Scarlett Rayner (Leah).

Commenting on his new production, director Anthony Simpson-Pike said: “Beautiful Thing is an iconic queer story that holds a special place in so many people’s hearts. Many people saw their own stories on stage and screen for the first time.

“In its 30th anniversary year, I feel excited for people who look like me to see their own stories reflected on stage too, to feel that same stirring of recognition in this seminal piece. Black queer people have always been around, this beautiful story of discovering your true self and falling in love belongs to all of us.”

Teenage boys Ste and Jamie are neighbours on a South London estate. Jamie is more knowledgeable about The Sound of Music than football, while classmate Ste never misses a sports day. Both are being bullied, Jamie at school and Ste at home by his violent father and brother.

One night, when things get too much, Ste seeks refuge in Jamie’s flat and, sharing a bed, the boys strike up a new relationship. Together they come to terms with their sexuality and explore their feelings alongside their Mama Cass loving, rebellious friend Leah and with the much-needed emotional support of Jamie’s lioness mother, Sandra.

The production has set & costume design by Rosie Elnile, lighting design by Elliot Griggs, sound design by Xana, movement & intimacy direction by Annie-Lunnette Deakin-Foster, casting direction by Isabella Odoffin CDG, associate direction by Robert Awosusi, fight direction by Bret Yount, costume supervision by Jackie Orton, voice & dialect coaching Joel Trill, production dramatherapist Wabriya King and casting assistant Joanna Sturrock.

Beautiful Thing opens at Stratford East from 8 September – 7 October, before playing Leeds Playhouse 18 – 28 October and HOME Manchester 31 October – 11 November.

For more information and tickets, visit / /

About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.


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