Arts & Culture

Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman star in ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’

4:00 pm - 5:30 pm | 04 December 2020
BFI Southbank |

Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman look set to sweep the awards in this glorious adaptation of August Wilson’s play.

1920s Chicago is the setting for this adaptation of August Wilson’s hit play that follows a band of musicians as they wait in a recording studio for the arrival of ‘Mother of the Blues’ Ma Rainey.

Viola Davis gives an electrifying performance as Ma Rainey, the strong-willed blues singer at the top of her game and Chadwick Boseman in his final role is exceptional and heartbreaking as Levee, a trumpeter at the end of his tether who dreams big but is unable to contain his inner rage.

Ultimately, this talented group of musicians became a symbol for the many oppressed and exploited black artists over the last century, and are brought to life by an outstanding script and two central performances.

Purchase your ticket here

Boseman died of colon cancer in August. Davis who played Boseman’s mother in “Get on Up,” said, “Chadwick was just an artist. That’s just who he was.”

Davis went on to say, “I don’t know that people understand the absolute impact of that statement. We are in the business, that a lot of times people have business conversations that masquerade themselves as artistic conversations. They don’t understand the difference between getting on set and demanding their vegan food being brought to them or their vegetarian dishes, or the dietary concerns, having that car ready. They don’t know the difference between that and making choices as an actor and getting down and dirty and doing the work and leaving your ego and your vanity at the door. He loved it. He demanded it.” Davis added, “He demanded it in every single way.”

Priority booking opens 1st December to BFI Champions and Patrons at 11:30 AM; to BFI Members at 12:30 PM, and 4:00 PM to the general public.

Header Image: courtesy of Netflix

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