A powerful exploration on how society stereotypes Black masculinity is the subject of new film created by award-winning creative movement Nouveau Riche and Soho Theatre. Typical, written by Ryan Calais Cameron and directed by Anastasia Osei-Kuffour, uncovers the man and the humanity behind the tragic real-life story of Christopher Alder, a Black British ex-serviceman.
The play first performed in 2019 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe has been revived to be filmed during the Covid-19 outbreak and shot adhering to social distancing guidelines, on location at Soho Theatre.
Actor Richard Blackwood has a career that spans 30 years across stage and screen and was the first Black comic to have his own TV show in the UK. For Typical, he delivers an intense, multi-rolling monologue, that is at times both harrowing and comedic. The tragic storyline highlights the crisis of identity consuming Britain, highlighting the little progress has been made in race relations over the last twenty years since Christopher’s story emerged.
Playwright Ryan Calais Cameron says: “Typical is the story of a Black man that is just a man when he is in the comfort of his home, but as he leaves, he must navigate through society’s ideas and prejudices about what it means to be Black.
“I believe this play is vital and should be seen as widely as possible, particularly now given the far overdue global fight for freedom, justice and liberation from overt, covert, and systemic racism. Typical is a slice of our history, that hopes to give insight, education and hope for a better future.”
Soho Theatre’s Creative Director David Luff adds: “The process of adapting the play for screen in this Covid-19 period has been challenging but hugely rewarding, bringing together a superb team of theatre and film creatives. We are extremely proud to have co-produced this new filmed version at Soho Theatre and eager for it to find a wide audience.”
Director Anastasia Osei-Kuffour shared: “It was so heart-breaking to see that even in a global pandemic racism is still raging, the killing of Black people by police and the fact that the virus disproportionately affected us people of colour more — because of the societal inequalities that racism has engineered — is so hard to stomach. Reviving Typical is part of our protest and fight against the wrong going on in the world, a way we as a team are taking action.
Typical is currently in post-production. Further announcements detailing the film’s release will be made very soon.
*A percentage of the proceeds from this film will be donated to Janet Alder, Christopher’s sister, who is raising funds to write a book about his story. This film is dedicated to his memory and the many Black men and women whose lives have been destroyed by racism in our society.