CASUALTY and Celebrity Fame Academy star Kwame Kwei-Armah takes to the stage at Birmingham's Repertory Theatre to star in his own award-winning play from Friday.

Elmina's Kitchen, described as "a darkly hilarious firecracker of a play" is the story of Deli, an ex-boxer desperately trying to hold his business and family together while keeping his son on the straight and narrow.

Best known as Finlay Newton in the long-running series Casualty, Kwame also finished runner-up in Celebrity Fame Academy. He has also released a soul album and won the 2003 Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright for Elmina's Kitchen, his debut play, which was first presented by the National Theatre in 2003.

Since then, he has written several plays and his most recent, Fix Up, opened at the National Theatre last December.

Directed by Angus Jackson, Elmina's Kitchen co-stars Don Warrington, Michael Obiora, Dona Croll, Oscar James and Shaun Parkes. Musicians Juldeh Camara, Atonga, Zimba and Rory McFarland will perform live before and during the performance.

The production runs at the theatre from February 25 to March 5 before embarking on a UK tour, evenings at 7.30pm (except March 1, 7pm) with Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm.

Tickets, £10-£19.50 are available from the box office on 0121 236 4455 or online at