Meet the Cast: Running With Lions

Published: Monday, 07th February 2022, 1:08am

Running with Lions is an intergenerational family drama about love, loss and hope: following three generations of women, it explores what it means to allow those we love to be themselves.

Following the death of a loved one, a British-Caribbean family struggles to come to terms with their grief. Isolated by their generational beliefs and challenges to their faith and mental health, they live between the things they do and do not say. Running with Lions explores the journey of one family’s reconciliation after loss and the rediscovery of love and joy.

The production is based on the audio play Running with Lions originally commissioned by BBC Radio 4.

Ruby Barker (Imani) is best known for playing Marina Thompson in Netflix’s hit series Bridgerton. Her other screen credits include the lead role of Yakira in the multi-award winning independent feature film How To Stop A Recurring Dream and Georgia Nixon in Sky’s political drama Cobra.

Wil Johnson (Maxwell) has performed extensively on stage and screen, and in 2016 he received the British Urban Film Festival honorary award for 30+ years’ outstanding contribution to film and television. Television credits include DS Spencer Jordan in all nine series of Waking the Dead, Carnival Row, The Larkins, Outlander, Death in Paradise, Vera, Lewis. Film includesAdulthood, Anuvahood and Macbeth. Theatre includes The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe (Bridge Theatre), Women Beware Women, A Mad World My Masters (Shakespeare’s Globe), Sweat (Donmar Warehouse / Gielgud Theatre), Glengarry Glen Ross (UK tour), Rosencrantz & Guidenstern Are Dead (Old Vic), King Lear (Royal Exchange), A Wolf in Snakeskin Shoes (Tricycle Theatre), Fuente Ovejuna (Royal National Theatre), Redundant (Royal Court), Leave Taking (Bush Theatre) and the lead in Othello (Royal Lyceum).

Nickcolia King-N’da (Joshua) most recently starred on stage in The Death of a Black Man at Hampstead Theatre. Other theatre credits include: Boys (The Pappy Show), Venice Preserved, The Provoked Wife (Royal Shakespeare Company), King Lear (Orange Tree Theatre), Peter Pan (Park Theatre), See For Myself (Tabard Theatre), Astley’s Astounding Adventures (New Vic Theatre). Television includes McDonald & Dodds, Silent Witness.

Suzette Llewellyn (Shirley) most recently played Sheree Truman in EastEnders. Running with Lions will mark her first appearance in her hometown of Hammersmith where she was born. Previous theatre includes: Urban Afro Saxons (Talawa), Chigger Foot Boys (Tara Arts), Hell Screen (Vault Festival), Marisol (Traverse Theatre).Other television credits include Estelle Vere in Doctors, Nanette Duvall in Holby City, Wendy Sparks in Rocket’s Island, Top Boy, The Dumping Ground, The Windsors, Catastrophe. Film includes Real, Faces, Molly Moon, Babymother, Playing Away.

Velile Tshabalala (Gloria) most recently played Viv in Channel 4’s Hollyoaks. Previously for television she has starred as Kareesha Lopez in Kerching, Monique Hyde in Call the Midwife and Rosita in Doctor Who and further roles in Birds of a Feather Christmas SpecialThe MayoressUtopia, Silent Witness and Class Dismissed. Theatre includes: Yap! Yap! Yap! (Gaggle Productions), Twelfth Night (Nottingham Playhouse), Case of Emergency (Stratford East). Film includes Euphoria.

NEED TO KNOW: Running with Lions will be at the Lyric Hammersmith, Lyric Square, King St, London W6 0QL from 10 Feb – 12 Mar 2021