As part of London Literature Festival we celebrate the release of Dare Not Linger with a talk featuring Langa, chaired by well-known journalist Jon Snow. The event also features readings from the book, but how could we do justice and due gravitas to the words of such an iconic leader? By assembling this genuinely stellar cast of world-renowned actors and voices.
Having trained with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s breakthrough role came on the stage. She played Juliet in Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre’s Romeo and Juliet in 2005, leading to a role as Ophelia in Hamlet in the West End and on Broadway. Mbatha-Raw’s film breakthrough came with the part of Talia in Tom Hanks’ Larry Crowne, before her first title film role in Amma Asante’s Belle, depicting the life of Dido Elizabeth Belle. Mbatha-Raw has also made much-acclaimed performances on the smaller screen, in Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror and on the US series Undercovers and Touch.
The Bristol born stage, film and television actress Anjoa Andoh is perhaps best known for playing Sister Colette Griffiths in the long running BBC Drama series Casualty, yet television is but one string to her all encompassing bow. Andoh has worked extensively on the stage, performing at the National Theatre and Royal Court Theatre, and starring in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s productions of Tamburlaine and The Odyssey, among others. She has also narrated series and book readings for radio and this won’t be the first time Andoh has played a part in telling Mandela’s story; she played the role of the South African President’s Chief of Staff Brenda Maziubo in the 2009 film Invictus.
Ten years since he was our artist-in-residence, Lemn Sissay returns to Southbank Centre. Born and raised in Wigan and began writing poetry in his late teens, initially self-publishing works and selling them locally, before his first book of poems was published at 21. He has gone on to write several collections of poetry, with his words immortalised in sculpture and art installations. As a broadcaster Sissay has made a number of radio documentaries for the BBC and is a regular contributor on BBC Radio 4’s output. The official poet of the 2012 London Olympics, Sissay is Chancellor of the University of Manchester.
Nigerian-born Ben Okri is considered one of the foremost African authors and poets in the post-modern and post-colonial traditions. A prolific writer, Okri published his first novel, Flowers and Shadows, in 1980 at just 21 years of age and has gone on to win multiple awards for his work, including the 1991 Booker Prize for The Famished Road. A regular visitor to Southbank Centre over the years, particularly as part of Poetry International, Okri last appeared on the Royal Festival Hall stage just last year, in conversation with Jeremy Corbyn.