All-black cast to deliver rendition of sitcom Friends

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AN ALL-BLACK cast will deliver a rendition of Friends live over Zoom during a table read hosted by Gabrielle Union.

Sterling K Brown, Ryan Michelle Bathe, Uzo Aduba, Aisha Hinds, Kendrick Sampson, and Jeremy Pope will all perform as characters from the hit sitcom, while Salli Richardson-Whitfield will direct.

The stars will reimagine one of the most famous episodes from the series – The One Where No Ones Ready – in which Ross Geller, played by David Schwimmer, tried to get the group of friends ready to attend a black tie event.

Friends, which first aired in 1994 and spanned 10 seasons, has repeatedly been criticised for its lack of racial diversity. As such, the decision to assign black actors the roles of the original cast, even for one night only, has generated a lot of interest.

In the table read, Brown will take on the role of Ross, Aduba will appear as Phoebe, Bathe will play Rachel, with Hinds as Monica, Sampson as Joey and Pope as Chandler.

The virtual event is all part of Zoom Where It Happens.

Zoom Where It Happens, an initiative in partnership with Zoom, aims to promote voting, highlight voting rights and electoral justice through the mediums of culture and entertainment.

The Friends table read will support When We All Vote, a US non partisan, non profit organisation which works to increase participation in every election and close the race and age voting gap.

It was launched in 2018 by a number of co-chairs including former US first lady Michelle Obama, actors Tom Hanks and Lin-Manuel Miranda, and actress and musician Janelle Monáe.

The re-imagination of Friends with an all-black cast will be available to watch live at 2am UK time on Wednesday.


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