August In England | Lenny Henry adapting hit play to the screen

lenny henry
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Lenny Henry has revealed he’s bringing his acclaimed play August In England to the screen.

Aside from being a hugely successful British comedian and an integral part of Comic Relief, Lenny Henry has increasingly worked behind the camera in recent years; he previously wrote the screenplay for 2015’s Danny And The Human Zoo, which told the story of his upbringing in the 1970s.

He made his playwriting debut at the Bush Theatre this year, meanwhile, with August In England, in which he plays August Henderson, a member of the Windrush generation who made a life in West Bromwich, only to find himself threatened with deportation to a Jamaica he has never known.

The play earned five star notices in The Guardian and The Telegraph, and Henry has since revealed that he plans to adapt it for the screen, telling Chris Evans on his Virgin Radio show that, “I’m going to try and write a film of August In England, because lots of people all over the country kept saying when are you coming up here?”

He went on to clarify that he wasn’t sure whether he would film the stage play or turn it into a ‘proper’ feature film “like Shirley Valentine or something”. Shirley Valentine also began life as a stage play, and was adapted for the big screen by its own playwright, Willy Russell, in 1989.

Henry’s last project is television drama Three Little Birds, which chronicles his family’s journey from Jamaica to the UK. Russell T Davies served as script consultant, and it’s due to be broadcast on ITV1 later this month.

British Comedy Guide

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