‘Pose’ & ‘Jeffrey Dahmer’ Star To Lead ‘Black Superhero’ Play

EXCLUSIVE:  Dyllón Burnside, star of Ryan Murphy shows Pose, American Horror Story and Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, will make his London stage debut in Black Superhero, the debut play from British actor, activist and playwright Danny Lee Wynter.

Florida-born Burnside will play King, a Black, queer movie star “with the world at his feet”, Wynter told Deadline.

King is “an out, global film star,” Wynter added. “He’s open about his sexuality but he’s not open about his private life, about whom he dates,” Wynter explained.

Burnside character King plays a superhero called Craw in the show that will run at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs located in Chelsea’s Sloane Square from March 14 through April 29. Official opening night is March 21.

Wynter, who is also starring in Black Superhero, made his mark in TV drama Joe’s Palace with Michael Gambon and Kelly Reilly and Capturing Mary opposite Maggie Smith and Ruth Wilson – both written and directed by Stephen Poliakoff. Wynter’s résumé incudes extensive theater work, most recently at the National Theatre in The Normal Heart for which he received a Best Supporting Actor Olivier Award nomination.

Royal Court Artistic Director Vicky Featherstone has tasked director Daniel Evans with getting the drama up on its feet and Evans is a huge get. Currently creative chief of the Chichester Festival Theatre he will soon exit his West Sussex base to share the post of Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company with Tamara Harvey, who currently holds the artistic leadership role at Theatr Clwyd in northeast Wales.

Wynter said that Evans was the first person he sent the Black Superhero script to. He’s believes that he’s on the precipice of something with his new work. It’s about a group of Black queer friends, Wynter told Deadline. Three of them are close: “One of them has got everything he wants, the other is on the brink of getting everything he wants, and the protagonist of the play, who probably has the lowest status, has seen no shift in his own life or career,” he said.

Wynter was referring to King, played by Burnside. Others featuring in the play include Raheem, an actor on the rise, played by gifted thespian Eloka Ivo (Avenue 5), and David, who works for his kid sister as a kids’ entertainer. That part will be played by Wynter. Line of Duty star Rochenda Sandall plays David’s younger sibling.

Black Superhero is described as a love letter to theater. Evans said that when he read it he could feel Wynter’s “20 years of being in the profession,” adding: “It’s like he’s absorbed the best of all the playwrights he’s admired across his career and channelled them.” 

Evans and Wynter are old friends. The budding dramatist worked as an usher at the Royal Court over two decades ago while Evans was performing in a play there. “It’s a full circle moment with Daniel,” Wynter noted. Twenty years ago he had asked Evans, winner of two Best Actor Olivier awards, for professional advice. They later worked together on the Act For Change Project, a charitable organisation advocating for diversity in the arts, of which Wynter was a founder.

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