Bode Asiyanbi play premieres at the Lagos Theatre Festival

Bode Asiyanbi’s play, Shattered, will premiere at the Lagos Theatre Festival, which is being held from 16-17 February 2013. Bode graduated in 2012 from the Lancaster Distance Learning MA in Creative Writing, and we are delighted to announce his continuing success. He was one of the recipients of our International Scholarships for 2010-12.

Shattered addresses the subject of rape, exposing in a powerful way the silence that often surrounds this crime. The play won the 2011 BBC African Performance playwriting competition – the second of Bode’s plays to win this competition. The competition’s judge, Ugandan American actor and writer Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, said, ‘Shattered, for me, was the most layered story technically speaking and the most suspenseful… It dealt with a theme that is being wrestled with not just on the African continent but globally, and it did it in a way that … shed light and heart on what is a complex issue’.

The British Council site reports:

The British Council is working with three of Nigeria’s most exciting theatre companies and one UK based one, for the first ever Lagos Theatre Festival, this month.

Renegade Theatre, Black Soul Performance Company, House of Tales and Fuel Theatre will bring to life amazing performances across a number of unconventional spaces on the 16th and 17th of February, 2013.

According to Ojoma Ochai, Assistant Director of the British Council, the idea is to create a platform for theatre away from conventional theatre spaces, which sadly are in short supply in the country. This is why the four plays will be staged at the Presidential Suite, Car Park, Petanque Area, and Casa Chianti Restaurant, all at the Eko Hotel & Suites. Ochai explains, “We’re infusing cutting-edge techniques and tools to bring theatre, historically a rich part of Nigerian culture, to an even wider range of arts consumers.”

Renegade Theatre’s The Waiting Room, directed by Wole Oguntokun, is an exciting, thought-provoking performance on the meaning of existence and pre-destination. The ‘The Waiting Room’ was the Festival play for the Lagos Book and Arts Festival, The Festival of Nigerian Plays (FESTINA) and the Lagos State Government-sponsored Black Heritage Festival all in 2011.

Grip Am, a pidgin- English comedy, directed by Deleke Gbolade revolves around a scatter-brained trickster who uses his wits to con death into giving him and his ever-belligerent wife eternal reprieve. Black Soul Performance Company’s production has gripped audiences into frenzied laughter over a dozen times since 2012. The magic continues at the Lagos Theatre Festival where this rebellious production will be transformed in a unique way.

House of Tales, led by Ifeanyi Dibia, makes an ambitious debut with Bode Asiyanbi’s 2011 BBC African Performance winning play Shattered, a deeply moving story which exposes in a powerful way the silence that often surrounds the issue of rape. Without preaching or condescension, Shattered sheds generous light and heart on what is, across and beyond Africa, a truly complex issue.

To complete the line-up, will be the Nigeria premiere of The 14th Tale, by British-Nigerian playwright, poet and actor, Inua Ellams. Ellams, who was born in Nigeria and moved to the UK as a child, describes himself as being “from a long line of troublemakers, of ash-skinned Africans, born with clenched fists and a natural thirst for battle, only quenched by breast milk.”