I am a London born, Nigerian / Danish theatre artist: performer, playwright, director, producer and workshop facilitator. Over the past twenty-five years, I have worked on performance projects in Antarctica, Botswana, Brazil, Belgium, Britain, Canada, China, Finland, France, Ghana, Greenland, India, Ireland, Lebanon, Malawi, Mauritius, Myanmar, Norway, Pakistan, Palestine, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Syria, the USA and Zimbabwe. I have acted in over fifty professional theatre, television and radio productions, devised and directed over thirty scripts for stage and video and lead countless workshops and training courses.
My diverse work has ranged from being an actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company to co-founding VIDYA, a slum dweller’s theatre company in Ahmedabad, India, who inspired the Theatre for Development Handbook co-written with John Martin and Manisha Mehta. All of my performance work is concerned with social change. Having trained extensively with and worked alongside Augusto Boal, I am a specialist facilitator in Theatre of the Oppressed, being invited to work particularly in areas of conflict, crisis and occupation. I am an Associate Artist for Pan Intercultural Arts with whom I work internationally. I mentor young and emerging artists including working as dramaturg for Four Corners production BLINK, with an inclusive cast. I have written poetry for many years and even had a stint as a teenage street rapper.
However, it was in 2005 that I embarked upon writing and producing plays as my primary focus through Moj of the Antarctic: An African Odyssey, which was researched on Antarctica and premiered at Lyric Hammersmith (2006) before national and international touring. This was followed by Muhammad Ali and Me (Ovalhouse, 2008) in which I also performed. Muhammad Ali and Me was revived in 2016 at Albany Theatre, toured nationally and is being adapted for screen. Matt Henson, North Star was developed in Greenland through Cape Farewell (Lyric Hammersmith, 2010).
My first commission was Desert Boy (Nitro, Albany and national tour, 2011). The Listeners, a play for young actors, commissioned by Pegasus Theatre Company, in partnership with The Samaritans (Oxford) premiered in 2012. I was Writer-on-Attachment with Unicorn and Birmingham Rep where I wrote Asara and the Sea-Monstress, my first play for children, with a staged reading at Albany (2014). I co-created, co-directed, performed in and wrote I Stand Corrected in collaboration with Mamela Nyamza and commissioned by Artscape, South Africa. I Stand Corrected premiered in Cape Town, toured to London, Soweto and Singapore, has been presented at international conferences and is the subject of documentaries. I co-devised, scripted and directed Sweet Taboo for Talawa Theatre Company’s TYPT:13 (2013) and adapted the script for screen.
I have developed experimental works including 48 Minutes for Palestine, a collaboration she devised, scripted and directed for Ashtar Theatre Palestine has been touring internationally since 2010.
My most recent experiment, The Interrogation of Sandra Bland (Bush Theatre, 2017) incorporating a huge community cast and verbatim text will be filmed in 2020.
My next independent production entitled STARS, in collaboration with DJ DeboA of Mix ‘n’ Sync, is a play that transforms into a club night, all about a very old lady who travels into outer space… in search of her own orgasm. STARS opens at Ovalhouse Theatre, London, in 2021. I am also currently commissioned by the National Theatre to write Wind / Rush Generation(s), that opens in 2020.
I have been teaching in academia since 1998, mainly at Goldsmiths, University of London, Department of Theatre and Performance, and at Queen Mary, University of London, in the School of English and Drama.