Tag Archives: theatre

A Love Themed Night of Somali Poetry, Stories and Music!

3 Jun

NITRO THEATRE in Partnership with KAYD Somali Arts and Culture presents:

A Love Themed Night of Somali Poetry, Stories and Music!


In celebration of the rich heritage of Somali love-themed poetry, music and prose, and to introduce Nitro’s upcoming production set on the coast of Somalia which recently rehearsed at the National Theatre’s Studio as part of Nitro’s TALES FROM THE EDGE, Nitro theatre in Partnership with Kayd present an evening featuring the cream of Somali artists and talent in the UK plus readings of Nitro’s new play. Artists on the night include:

AAR MAANTA + Full live band // www.aarmaanta.com

AAR MAANTA + Full Live Band!
ALI GOOLYAD (De Gabay Poet)

Interview with FELIX CROSS MBE + OLADIPO AGBOLUAJE and extracts from NITRO’S new play set on the coast of Somalia + PRINCE ABDI hosts

With lots more of the best British Somali Talent

£7 Adv Tickets – http://ohcaashaq.eventbrite.com




Oh Caashaq Flyer



A Feast of Yoruba Culture

12 Feb


Directed by Rufus Norris

A Young Vic and Royal Court Theatre co-production

At the Young Vic London, until 2nd March 2013

Young_Vic_Feast_002Photograph Feast company –  Richard Hubert Smith

From 18th-century Nigeria to present-day London via Brazil, the USA and Cuba, Feast at the Young Vic tells the story of Yoruba culture across three continents and three hundred years.

The play is directed by award-winner Rufus Norris (London Road, Death and the King’s Horsemen) and the script is a collaboration between five international playwrights – Yunior Garcia Aguilera (Cuba), Rotimi Babatunde (Nigeria), Marcos Barbosa (Brazil), Tanya Barfield (USA) and Gbolahan Obiesan (UK). It is the tale of the endurance of the Yoruba faith and culture, and of the crafting of diaspora identities.

The show’s music and movement provide the dramatic energy and create a powerful sense of time and place. Lysander Ashton’s projections dance across a beaded curtain as the ensemble cast move in and out of view. In an early scene the names of slaves scrawled on a ship’s register float on water and the outlines of bodies, as live music mixes with the sounds of sea and sand to take us on the journey from West Africa to the plantations of the New World. Throughout, the writing and music are woven with Yoruba words, sounds and proverbs and the staging echoes the trickery of the deity Esu.

The collaboration which is at the heart of the production is also, at times, its weakness. There is a certain disjointedness in the format and the strands never quite come together. At its best the writing is energetic and quick-witted, as in the sisterly banter which introduces the three protagonists Yemaja, Oshun and Oya. Nanaa Agyei-Ampadu as Oshun shines in this scene and others – and with Louis Mahoney (Papa Legba) she is among the most versatile of the performers. In other moments the dialogue and acting verge on self-conscious and we begin to feel like we are being lectured. The scene in 21st century London feels stiff and unnatural, although the bawdy humour gets the biggest laughs of the night.

Some of the more interesting themes are raised in passing but left unexplored. There are lines which hint at how African cultures can be romanticised, or fetished, including by those of African heritage. Aguilera’s standout Cuba scene comes closest to engaging with these intercultural questions when Yemaya  (Noma Dumezweni) asks ‘Who do you think I am, Pocahontas?’ and American tourist John Smith (Daniel Cerqueira) frantically explains, while cowering under a table, that he is not prejudiced because he voted Obama.

The constituent parts of Feast may not make an entirely satisfactory whole but the production certainly takes us on a visually striking journey and succeeds in telling the epic story of Yoruba culture. One is left with a real sense of the diverse talents who have come together in the performance.

 Written by Grace Benton

What is democracy? What does it mean for a country to be truly free?

2 Aug

Calamity Jane reviews Welcome to Thebes by Moira Buffini for OoA

Welcome to Thebes is a phenomenal play and relevant portrayal of the struggle between rich and poor, oppressed and oppressor. It exemplifies the role of theatre in political commentary.


Abandoned with no infrastructure, poorly educated people, no trained police and no health provision in the aftermath of war, democracy is traded for survival. The Athenian model of democracy becomes a bargaining tool to secure economic aid before Thebes is left destitute and without the tools to decipher its new freedom. The self righteous indignation of the fleeing Athenians is embodied by their ignorant and grotesque leader, Theseus, sensationally played by David Harewood.

Ten days before independence from its former Athenian rulers, the search for a new future in which the people of Thebes determine their own destiny begins. In this incredibly poignant and relevant play, Moira Buffini explores the perplexities of an emerging democracy not assumed but bestowed upon a people by their former imperial masters. Set against a backdrop of a crumbling empire, Thebes, a war ravaged State scrabbles with its own conscience and bloody history as it steps into a new dawn of political rule.

Date: until 12th September 2010
Time: various
Venue: National Theatre, Olivier Theatre,   South Bank, London, SE1 9PX
Info: 020 7452 3000 | National Theatre

****Special Summer Offer****

Call 020 7452 3000 quoting ‘Summer £20 offer’ or book online at the National Theatre and enter promotion code 2916, then select date and tickets.
Valid with top price tickets, 26 July-26 August. Subject to availability.

Theatre Now – explorations in contemporary South African theatre at the Free Word Centre

19 Apr

Free Word, British Council and MVG Productions present a series of free playreadings and discussions focused on the work of award-winning South African playwright, Mike van Graan.

Venue: Free Word Centre, 60, Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3GA (nearest tube is Farringdon)

Thursday 22 April 1pm – 2.30pm

So what is there to write about now that apartheid has gone?

Lecture demonstration by Mike van Graan with extracts from his plays

Friday 23 April 6pm – 8.30pm

Could theatre be an obstacle to intercultural dialogue rather than facilitating it?

Staged reading of Brothers in Blood followed by panel discussion and Q&A with Mike van Graan

Saturday 24 April 4pm – 6.30pm

What are the barriers for African theatre-makers who want to reach international audiences? Staged reading of Green Man Flashing followed by panel discussion and Q&A with Mike van Graan

Winner of the Naledi Theatre Award, Brothers in Blood premiered at the Market Theatre, Johannesburg in 2009. Set in Cape Town, the play resonates with racial and religious faultlines amongst the Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities. Green Man Flashing one of the first plays to get under the skin of post-apartheid ‘rainbow nation’, has also been nominated for several awards in South Africa.

All events are free but space is limited so booking is advisable at bookings@freewordonline.com.  Alternatively, phone 020 7324 2570.

Source: Visitingarts.org.uk

Fela! the musical is coming to the National Theatre London!!

21 Mar


New York Times Published: March 18, 2010

While the West End has been home to the commercial runs of many successful Broadway musicals, the nonprofit National Theater in London on Thursday announced a rare undertaking for its stages: a production of the new Broadway musical “Fela!” later this year that will star the two actors who now alternate in the title role in New York.

The National Theater mostly produces plays, musicals and revivals on its own accord, and only occasionally imports or replicates American works. The Broadway production of the Tony Award-winning play “August: Osage County” transferred to the National in 2008, and the theater also mounted Tony Kushner’s musical “Caroline, or Change” in 2006, two years after its Broadway run ended.

The leaders of the National said in interviews that they had decided to pursue “Fela!” after seeing the Broadway production in January and thinking that the music and choreography of the show — about the Afrobeat star Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, featuring dancers in the aisles of a theater decorated like a Nigerian nightclub — was unlike anything now in London. They also said the musical might prove popular with Africans and world-music aficionados in London who know more about Fela than many Americans do.

“ ‘Fela!’ is one of the most exhilarating experiences I have ever had in the theater, and it will be a thrilling experience to bring it to the National,” said Nicholas Hytner, its artistic director.

Bill T. Jones, the director and choreographer of “Fela!” on Broadway, will perform the same duties at the National, and the two actors who play the lead, Sahr Ngaujah and Kevin Mambo, are set to perform on the stage of the National’s Olivier Theater.

“Fela!” is a relatively large-scale Broadway show, costing about $10 million to mount, and the National production will also be sizable, with a cast of about 22 people and a band of 10, theater executives said. The National’s executive director, Nick Starr, said that “Fela!” would play in repertory with a production of “Hamlet,” to star Rory Kinnear. Because the Olivier will need to accommodate both shows, Mr. Starr said, Mr. Jones and his “Fela!” designers will rely more on projections than they do in New York because they will not be able to decorate the Olivier to look like Fela’s nightclub in Lagos.

Stephen Hendel, the lead producer of “Fela!” on Broadway, said he had not begun thinking about a London production of “Fela!” until Mr. Hytner and Mr. Starr approached him in January. “Fela!” opened on Broadway only in November, to generally strong reviews. Grosses have been steady lately, but ticket sales have not been spectacular.

Mr. Hendel declined to discuss the financial arrangements, other than to confirm that the American producers will help cover travel and incidental expenses of the creative team. But Mr. Hendel said the National production could have great long-term value for “Fela!”

“You can’t buy the imprimatur of a theater like the National embracing your show,” Mr. Hendel said, adding that it was “a great way to introduce the show for the first time internationally.”

Fela! on Broadway get your tickets now!

24 Nov

With the amazing launch of Fela! on Broadway last night which saw producers Jay Z , Will Smith and Jada Smith dancing in the aisles spending New Year’s in New York is looking ever more tempting if only to catch the acclaimed Fela!

“There has never been anything on Broadway like this production!”  –  The New York Times

“FELA! breaks the mold” – Variety

“There’s no better dancing on Broadway than what’s currently on view in Fela!, directed and choreographed by Bill T. Jones and now playing the Eugene O’Neill Theatre following a successful Off-Broadway run at 37 Arts last year. The sheer exuberance of the performers makes this bio-musical about Nigerian activist, composer, and performer Fela Anikulapo Kuti an exciting and richly rewarding theatrical experience.” – TheatreMania

Book your tickets here

For flights and hotels check out hot deals at:

Last Minute.com


Fela! on Broadway

19 Oct


FELA! on Broadway

Now Playing!

Eugene O’Neill Theatre, New York City, USA 


History in the Making: FELA! the critically acclaimed musical has made it to Broadway.

Enter the extravagant, decadent, rebellious world of a legendary musician.

A provocative hybrid of dance and Broadway musical, FELA! features the Afrobeat music of Fela Anikulapo–Kuti, a book by Jim Lewis and the direction and choreography of Tony® Award winner Bill T. Jones.

His Passion Ignited a Generation.

His Music Fueled a Revolution.

His Legacy Inspires the World.

FELA! uses stirring Afrobeat music (a blend of jazz, funk and African rhythm and harmonies), to tell the story of Kuti’s controversial life as artist, political activist and revolutionary musician. Featuring many of Fela Kuti’s most captivating songs and Bill T. Jones’s visionary staging, FELA! is the most original new musical on Broadway.

Come for the music. Come for the dancing. Come awaken your soul.

Not be missed.

For further information, tickets and reviews visit – http://www.felaonbroadway.com

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