Cast announced for West End transfer of The Fishermen
David Alade, star of Stormzy's short film Gang Signs & Prayer, joins the cast in the role of Ben and Valentine Olukoga reprises the role of Obembe following the show's Stage Award-winning Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018 run and two sold-out runs at the Arcola
We are delighted to announce new casting for the return of the award-winning production of Chigozie Obioma's Booker Prize-shortlisted novel The Fishermen, with David Alade joining the cast in the role of Ben alongside Valentine Olukoga who will reprise the role of Obembe. David Alade has previously played the lead role of Thomas in Stormzy's short film Gang Signs and Prayer directed by Rollo Jackson for the BRIT Award winner's debut album release. Most recently, David has written and performed in Foxhunting (Courtyard Theatre), a verbatim drama drawing on transcripts of interviews with South Londoners about their experiences of knife crime.
We also welcome the return of Valentine Olukoga, who has performed at theatres including the Royal Court and the National Theatre, as well as a regular role in ITV drama Unforgotten. The Fishermen will return to the Fringe as part of the British Council Edinburgh Showcase (19th - 24th Aug) before transferring to the West End's Trafalgar Studios (3rd Sept - 12th Oct), and touring to Canterbury's Marlowe Theatre Studio (16th - 19th October)
Gbolahan Obisesan has adapted the story of four brothers torn apart by a prophecy. In a small Nigerian town, Ben and Obembe slip away to fish at a forbidden river along with their two older brothers. Risking the wrath of their father, who expects great things of them all, they continue unnoticed and carefree until one day the prophecy of a madman changes the course of their lives. Based on the Man Booker Prize-shortlisted novel by one of Africa's major new voices, New Perspectives present Chigozie Obioma's powerful allegory of brotherhood, vengeance and fate.
The Fishermen is the debut novel by Nigerian author Chigozie Obioma. It was shortlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize, and was named a best book of the year by the Observer, the Economist, the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal. Chigozie Obioma will be headlining at the Africa Writes festival alongside a staged reading of the play on Sunday 7th July. The author will also be talking about his new novel, An Orchestra of Minorities.
Director Jack McNamara said, "The Fishermen was led by two powerhouse performances in Michael Ajao and Valentine Olokuga, who won a Stage Award last year. Finding a replacement for the brilliant Ajao was never going to be easy, but after much searching we have found someone truly special in David Alade. His presence and skill are unique and I am hugely excited to see how he and Valentine bring a whole new dynamic to this next phase in the show's life."
Gbolahan Obisesan is a director and Fringe First winning writer. His previous plays include an adaption of Pigeon English (Bristol Old Vic, Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013) and the Fringe First winning Mad About the Boy (2011), and he was one of the six writers commissioned by the Royal Court and the Young Vic for Rufus Norris' Feast. He recently held the role ofGenesis Fellow/Associate Director atthe Young Vic Theatre, previously directed the 2017Olivier nominatedCuttin it (Young Vic, Birmingham Rep, Sheffield Crucible,Royal Court, Yard Theatre)and OffThe Page, a short film for the Royal Court/Guardian's microplays season.
7th July, 3.30pm
A reading of the play and Q&A with author Chigozie Obioma
Part of the British Council Edinburgh Showcase 2019
New Perspectives is an East Midlands' based touring theatre company, specialising in bringing new work to rural and community audiences. Through an annual programme of original adaptations, rare revivals and new writing, we aim to bring live theatre that is diverse, affordable and accessible into the heart of wide-ranging communities, as well as to regional, national and international venues.