Theatre Royal Stratford East has announced the full cast for its new production of King Hedley II.

Lenny Henry, one of Britain’s best-known comedians, will star as the smooth-talking hustler Elmore. Joining him are Dexter Flanders (Not Going Out, Home Alone 2), Martina Laird (EastEnders, Casualty, Shameless), Aaron Pierre (The A Word, Britannia), Cherrelle Skeete (Silent Witness, Call the Midwife), and Leo Wringer (The Changeling, Law and Order).

The play opens on May 17 and runs until June 15.

Set in 1980s Pittsburgh, a city in decay, ex-con King is trying to rebuild his life and start a family. He’s got hopes and dreams of opening a video store and building a new life. If only he can get $10,000 together, if only he can catch a break. In his dusty backyard he plots and plans with his friend Mister, but is this all a pipe dream?

August Wilson’s touching and angry King Hedley II is a quest for redemption for one man and a whole community.

Wilson was an American playwright. He won a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award for his play Fences and earned a second Pulitzer Prize for The Piano Lesson.

Nadia Fall, Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Stratford East said: “I am thrilled to announce such a brilliant cast for what is surely one of August Wilson’s most hard-hitting plays, a story which is as relevant today as when it was first written.

“This is the first time a Wilson play has been performed at Theatre Royal Stratford East and it feels like a perfect fit.”

Theatre Royal Stratford East, Gerry Raffles Square, E15 1BN, Friday, May 17, to Saturday, June 15. Details: 020 8534 0310