One of the UK’s biggest comedians will be taking the life of Richard Pryor to the stage. It has been revealed that Britain’s Lenny Henry is in the works to star as Pryor in a upcoming play. As it’s known a current biopic film on Richard Pryor is currently in the works.
Lenny Henry is to appear in a play about Richard Pryor at the National Theatre.
The comedian and actor is working on the project with Michael Buffong, artistic director of leading black theatre group Talawa, although little further information is known. Henry let slip about the play when appearing on Robert Elms’s BBC London radio show yesterday. When asked about whether he would be returning to stand-up, Henry replied: ‘I’ve been working on a Richard Pryor play at the National with Michael Buffong. In the course of rehearsing that I get to improvise and mess about so the comedy impulse isn’t dying on the twig.’You’ve got to keep your hand in, otherwise when you hit the stage it’s embarrassing.There will be some stand-up, but not immediately because I’m doing other things.’Buffong confirmed the show, but provided few other details, telling Chortle: ‘We are still working on the script which looks at a specific moment in his life.’A Hollywood biopic of Pryor is also in the works, with stand-up Mike Epps tipped to play the lead. The movie will be directed by Lee Daniels, who also made The Butler.Henry played Pryor in his 1989 concert film Live and Unleashed, when he pretended to meet all his comedy heroes.