As the country slowly tries to return to normal, Utopia Theatre has launched a series of rehearsed readings of African plays online.
The first of these was This is Our Chance by James Ene Henshaw. This is the first time the play has ever been performed in the UK and the second time it was directed by Utopia Theatre’s Artistic Director, Mojisola Elufowoju. She originally directed the production in Nigeria in 2015 in collaboration with the James Ene Henshaw Foundation. The two organisations came together again to collaborate on this online rehearsed reading on 17 January.
The reading was a huge success, with over 70 attendees from across the world. The turn-out to this production has shown that even in these difficult times, people have not lost their passion for live performance.
“When we conceived the Creative Hub in early 2020, we could not have foreseen just how important it would end up being,” said, Mojisola Elufowoju, CEO and Artistic Director, Utopia Theatre. We knew that supporting our community was really important. People needed to connect with others more than ever. The Creative Hub online became a lifeline to many and gave lots of people invaluable skills”.
Amid another lockdown, the creative sector must continue to adapt and produce engaging content. Utopia Theatre is proud to be able to continue the Rehearsed Readings through 2021, starting online and seeking to move the readings into theatre spaces when it is safe to do so.
- 28 February 2021 – And the Girls in their Sunday Dresses by Zakes Mda
- 21 March 2021 – The Black Hermit by James Ngugy
- 25 April 2021 – Son of the Nile (a play for young people and all those young at heart) by Afeif Ismael
To book tickets, please visit www.utopiatheatre.co.uk/our-work. Tickets are £6 for the livestream and £10 for the livestream and recording. Further productions will be announced later on in the year. To find out more and stay up to date with Utopia Theatre’s work, visit www.utopiatheatre.co.uk.
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About Utopia Theatre
Utopia Theatre is a producing company formed in 2012 to create for the British and international stage, exceptional world-class African theatre with an imaginative flair. We create old and new plays and re-imagine classics in a way that demonstrates their contemporary relevance and appeal to a new audience and regular theatregoers.
The company synthesises African and Western performing traditions to celebrate the meeting of different cultures, and presents productions in Sheffield and on tour, with programmes aimed at developing and promoting Black writers and performers.
The company is dedicated to demonstrating the rich cultural heritage of Africa’s theatre canon, and in so doing, dispel stereotypes and encourage authentic voices from the African Diaspora.