Trouble in Mind is set in 1950s America against a backdrop of racial inequality and voter suppression. Playwright and activist Alice Childress wrote the play over 60 years ago, but a planned transfer to Broadway at the time didn't happen as she refused to make changes would make it more palatable for the producers. In fact, the play didn't reach Broadway until last year.
The play tells the story of talented black actress Wiletta Mayer (played by Tanya Moodie) who is cast in a new play about racism, written and directed by two white men. She decides to take action when her pleas to tell the truth of the story are dismissed.
Cyril Nri plays the powerful role of the older African-American actor Sheldon Forrester, who is struggling to survive in a the racially prejudiced theatrical industry in the 1950s. He has to watch what he says in front of the white folks, laugh at their jokes and comply with all their directions without complaint, ironically even when the director tells the black actors to be truthful. However the play becomes deadly serious when Sheldon describes an actual lynching he himself witnessed.
The play is considered a masterpiece and has received critical acclaim for its satirical portrayal of racism in theatre. This production is directed by Nancy Medina and runs at The National Theatre from 2nd December 2021 to 29th January 2022.
Cyril Nri is available for voiceovers from Anthea Represents. Click his image for his profile page and voiceover showreel.