Casting is today announced for the London season of the smash-hit musical A Strange Loop which is transferring from Broadway to the Barbican Theatre for a one-time-only 12-week limited season from 17 June.
Making his West End debut, Kyle Ramar Freeman – reprising the lead role he played on Broadway – will star as Usher, a young, gay, Black writer who hates his day job, so writes a musical about a young, gay, Black writer who’s writing a musical about a young, gay, Black writer.
He will be joined on stage by an all-British cast of six Thoughts, who are the physical manifestation of Usher’s internal monologue.
Playing the Thoughts are multi-Olivier nominated Jason Pennycooke (Lafayette/Jefferson – Original cast of Hamilton), Sharlene Hector, best known for being a lead vocalist for British band Basement Jaxx, Danny Bailey (Jesus Christ Superstar, Girl From the North Country), Eddie Elliott (Blues for an Alabama Sky, The Lion King and Motown The Musical) and Tendai Humphrey Sitima (The Play That Goes Wrong). Further casting will be announced soon.
A Strange Loop creator Michael R. Jackson said: “I couldn’t be more excited to test the universality of Usher’s journey of self-acceptance with this extraordinary London company portraying Usher’s Thoughts. I am even more excited to bring Broadway powerhouse Kyle Ramar Freeman to London to anchor this production of A Strange Loop. Kyle is an immense talent and I have no doubt that London audiences will fall as in love with him as they did in New York City.“
Originating Broadway producer Barbara Whitman said: “I’m thrilled that Kyle will be playing Usher in this production. He is a true star. And I can’t wait to welcome the six new actors to our Strange Loop family.”
Kyle Ramar Freeman added: “I am truly honoured to have my West End debut at the Barbican. I am excited to share this experience with London audiences and hope to deliver a performance alongside my fellow cast that will be as unforgettable as it was on Broadway.”
Michael R. Jackson’s A Strange Loop is a critically acclaimed Pulitzer Prize-winning blisteringly funny masterpiece, nominated for 11 Tony Awards and winner of every Best Musical award in New York. Only the 10th musical to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama – with the previous winner being Hamilton – the committee cited the show as a “metafictional musical that tracks the creative process of an artist transforming issues of identity, race, and sexuality that once pushed him to the margins of the cultural mainstream into a meditation on universal human fears and insecurities”.