Lenny Henry

Stage work

Lenny Henry as Othello

I'm very proud of my work on stage and in the theatre.

I've always loved playing characters. Even when I was little, I used to pretend to be Tony Curtis in The Persuaders or Sidney Poitier in The Defiant Ones, or Simon Templer, or The Man in a Suitcase.

I loved play acting, and perhaps the whole thing of being an impressionist and doing characters like Algernon Razzmatazz and Joshua Yarlong and Theophilus P. Wildebeeste stemmed from an innate need to express myself as somebody else. I don't know what that is, and I don't know where that's from.

But it led to me playing Othello with Northern Broadsides, for which I won the Evening Standard's Best Newcomer Award. That led to August Wilson's Fences, with Paulette Randall directing, which led to Comedy of Errors at the National Theatre, which led to Frank in Educating Rita, which led to Arturo Ui at the Donmar Warehouse.

It has been a hell of a rollercoaster ride. And I can't wait to do more work on stage. Connecting with an audience is one of the most extraordinary privileges anyone could have. And come the end of lockdown and the new normal, we'll be back with new stuff to share with you.


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