THE Mountaintop- an intimate look into the life of Martin Luther King continues its run at NST City until Saturday October 6.

The drama chips away at the myth of the great man exposing his fears about his family, country and the ever-looming threat of a violent death.

Set during the height of America's Civil Rights Movement on the night before his death, Katori Hall's sharp and powerful play confronts the legend and his legacy. Are we really free or do we live in a world of false liberation?

Roy Alexander Weise (Nine Night, National Theatre), winner of the JMK Award 2016, directs this revival of the Olivier Award-winner about King's last night on earth.

Asked what made him want to direct The Mountaintop and which themes will most resonate with audiences across the country in 2018, he said:

"This play is timeless. The Mountaintop chips away at the myth of the great man to expose his fears about his family, his country and the ever-looming threat of a violent death. Set during the height of America’s Civil Rights Movement, the play confronts the legend and his legacy. "

Quoting a line from the play he said: “The baton may have been dropped. But anyone can pick it back up. I don’t know where in the race we are, but pick up the baton and pass pass pass it along. This baton is no longer the burden my image can bear.

"This excerpt is one of the last lines in the play and it couldn’t be a more poignant call out to action to us at this time. A time of Brexit and Donald Trump. This play, although written many years ago, resonates to a reality of which we face today; racism, fascism, sexism, inequality, segregation amongst the few.

Martin started a journey fighting for the rights of the people, all people from all walks of life, today, we are facing the same fights he was, over 50 years ago (Civil Rights, Black Lives Matter Campaign, Equality, Social Responsibility)

This play gives us hope and inspires us to do something as a society at a time where our political and social climate is frankly, quite scary. The production drew many people’s attention including mayor Sadiq Khan and hope that it can inspire people all over the UK to take-action and pick up the baton and carry on the fight to civil rights. "

Martin Luther King is one of the most well-known historical figures in the world, how did you approach directing this intimate portrayal?

One thing was very clear in Katori’s writing, and that was that, he, was indeed, just a man, like any one of us. He too had smelly feet, smoked and drank. It’s hard to be objective and just to serve the play when you spend all your time researching him. It’s so easy to fall in love with a man who has inspired huge change in our world. So I treated him like any other character in any play for a while and dipped into research when necessary. It was all about finding a man, a man just like any other man or woman, whose achievements aren’t out of the realms of possibility for those of us still alive today."

Why is touring theatre important to you?

I think in the time that we are in, it is important that work that is made all over the country has the opportunity to speak to different audiences. The events of the last few years in Britain have shown us that there is nothing United about this Kingdom. We are divided by fear. I feel like art can teach and provoke. A theatre is a community. When the lights go down (or the play starts), a community is created in that room for the night. We experience the same narrative from different points of view. We hear a voice other than our own, live an experience that we might learn something from."

What do you want audiences to take away from the production?

"Come and see and you’ll find out."

The Mountaintop is playing at Nuffield Southampton Theatres until Saturday October 6, before embarking on a national tour.

Tickets from £10. Call 023 8067 1771 or visit

Age recommendation 14 +