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New Perspectives to stage award-winning Nigerian novel The Fishermen

21 October 2017


New Perspectives has commissioned a new adaptation of Chigozie Obioma's powerful allegory of love, vengeance and tragedy The Fisherman.To be adapted for stage by award-winning playwright Gbolahan Obisesan, the production, in association with HOME, is scheduled to open in Manchester next July 2018 followed by a UK tour.

Told from the point of view of nine year old Benjamin, the youngest of four brothers,The Fishermen is the story of an unforgettable childhood in 1990s Nigeria and celebrates the African oral tradition.In a small Nigerian town, unbeknownst to their parents, four young brothers decide to go to fishing at a forbidden river. There they meet a local madman who utters a terrifying prophecy that one will kill the other. At that moment their destinies change forever, unleashing a spiral of fear which leads to a chain of events of mythic proportions.

Originally inspired by a telephone conversation with his father in 2009,Chigozie Obioma's debut novel was published to critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic, the winner of the inaugural Emerging Voices prize for African and Middle Eastern fiction. To be adapted for stage by the winner of 2009 Jerwood Directors' Award and becoming the Young Vic Genesis Fellow for 2015,Gbolahan Obisesa's plays have beenstaged at the Soho Theatre, the Young Vic, the Unicorn and the Bush Theatre, amongst others.

Onthe announcement New Perspectives Artistic DirectorJack McNamara said,

As soon as I read Chigozie Obiama's novelI glimpsed a powerful piece of theatre. Not only does it begin with a Macbeth-like prophecy, but it is told with an intensity and economy that takes it far beyond the page. At New Perspectives we champion unheard and unexpected voices from every corner of the world.Our adaptation will cut to the heart of this amazing modern story and bring a major new voice in African fiction to theatre audiences across the country.


New Perspectives is an East Midlands based national touring theatre company, with a specialty in creating dynamic performances for rural audiences. We make ambitious and original theatre, focusing on new writing, adaptations and revivals, which we present in community settings and venues nationally and internationally. We provide career defining training and mentoring opportunities for emerging regional talent and manage the rural touring scheme Northants Touring Arts . 

Whether you’re a theatre lover, rural champion, or believe in widespread access to the arts then please help us make our work. Like every actor on stage, or each word on the page, every donor plays a vital role, your support can make a real difference... Find out more

 New Perspectives is a registered charity no. 1058309 


Sun 7 July
Africa Writes Festival, London
Mon 19 - Sat 24 August
Edinburgh Fringe
Tue 3 September - Sat 12 October
Trafalgar Studios, London

Raw and poetic take on an economically divided world


A new fearless adventure
Unicorn, London
FrI 15 November  - Sun 5 January


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