To Sir, With Love tours to the King’s

Jun 28 2013 | By More

Matthew Kelly returns to King’s in world premier production

Matthew Kelly will play inspiration headmaster Florian.

Matthew Kelly will play inspiration headmaster Florian.

By Thom Dibdin

Ansu Kabia and Matthew Kelly are to star at the Edinburgh King’s this autumn in the world premiere tour of To Sir, With Love, E R Braithwaite’s autobiographical novel, in an adaptation by Ayub Khan Din.

The co-production between the Touring Consortium and Royal and Derngate will open in Northampton and tour to the King’s for a week at the end of October.

To Sir, With Love is the inspirational story of Ricky Braithwaite, an ex-RAF fighter pilot and Cambridge graduate who arrives in London in 1948. Despite a first class degree in electronic engineering, he is turned down for job after job in his chosen profession because of his colour and takes the only job he can get – teaching in a tough East End School.

Supported by an enlightened headmaster, the determined teacher turns teenage rebelliousness into self-respect, contempt into consideration and hate into love. On the way, he learns that he has more in common with his students than he had realised.

Filmed in 1967 with Sidney Poitier and Lulu – who also sang the title song – this new stage adaptation is peppered with songs and music of the late ’40s, and will feature local young people in the cast.

Ansu Kabia, who will play the part of Ricky, was part of the RSC’s two and a half year ensemble from 2009. On the small screen he appeared in London’s Burning, about the riots of 2011, as well as Casualty and The Bill.

The role of inspirational headmaster Florian will be played by Matthew Kelly, winner of an Olivier Award for the Touring Consortium Theatre Company production of Of Mice and Men – seen at the King’s in 2006. Kelly has been widely acclaimed for his range of performances across TV and stage, cementing his reputation as one of our most versatile and popular actors.

Kelly is also chief patron of Touring Consortium and is part of the company’s groundbreaking three year plan to create a programme of high-quality dramas with its member theatres. To Sir, With Love is the first of five planned dramas, to be followed in 2014 by Brassed Off in the spring and a world premier adaptation of Pat Barker’s novel Regeneration in the autumn. A further two productions will be announced later this year.

Writer Ayub Khan Din made his debut as an actor in the 1985 film My Beautiful Launderette and started his career as a writer in the late 1990’s with the semi-autobiographical play East is East, which he then adapted as an award winning and BAFTA nominated screenplay. Director Mark Babych is an award-winning film, theatre and television director who was recently appointed as Artistic Director of Hull Truck Theatre.

To Sir With Love
Tue 29 Oct – Sat 2 Nov 2013, 7.30pm (Wed, Sat matiness 2.30pm)
King’s Theatre, 2 Leven Street EH3 9LQ. Tickets:

To Sir, With Love on national tour:

6-28 September Northampton
Royal & Derngate
01604 624811 Book online
1-5 October Cardiff
New Theatre
029 2087 8889 Book online
8 – 12 October Cheltenham
Everyman Theatre
01242 572573 Book online
15-19 October Nottingham
Theatre Royal
0115 989 5555 Book online
22-26 October Wolverhampton
Grand Theatre
01902 429212 Book online
29 October – 2 November Edinburgh
Kings Theatre
0131 529 6000 Book online
5-9 November Bradford
Alhambra Theatre
01274 432000 Book online
12-16 November Darlington
Civic Theatre
01325 486555 Book online
19-23 November Oxford
01865 305305 Book online
26-30 November Dartford
Orchard Theatre
01322 220000 Book online


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