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Home > Afridiziak Theatre News > ATN Interviews > Tunji Falana  

ATN Interview with Tunji Falana
By Karla Williams
Published, June 2009

Tunji Falana is the talented young actor who has worked on both the UK and Nigeria. He has performed at the Old Vic Theatre and recently played the role of Christopher in the critically acclaimed play Blue/Orange by Joe Penhall at the Wimbledon Studios. He can now be seen in Lydia Adetunji’s Fixer which is one of the three plays being produced at this year’s High Tide Festival. Now in its third year the festival aims to produce new plays by up-and-coming writers.

Karla Williams had a quick chat with Tunji to find out a bit more about the play and why he became an actor.

Tell us what Fixer is all about?
In journalism, a fixer is someone who knows the grounds and what has happened in an area for example Afghanistan or Iraq and journalists always look for a fixer so they can cover a story. The play tells the story of a fixer and how he takes the journalists to the story, which is a pipeline that has been built from southern Nigeria and travels through to the north and the pipeline has caused damage to the infrastructure of the people in Nigeria.

How relevant do you feel the play is?
Very. It is making people aware of the damage the western world has and is continuing to make to so called undeveloped countries.

What have the audiences reaction been to the play?
They have enjoyed it because they feel part of what’s going on. For instance there are three scenes in a bar and the set has been made so the audience are sitting in, and are part of the bar.

What part do you play in the story?
I play the porter.

And what significance does the porter have?
The fixer in the play (Chuks played by Israel Oyelumade) hangs around a particular hotel where he scouts journalists to sell them stories. There is a sort of love/hate relationship between him and the porter as he sleeps at the hotel and the Porter doesn’t like it because he just wants a simple live; go to work and please the manager. Also at this point he’s looking to become promoted to a barman and the fixer being there hinders this. But he also does deals with the fixer, so if there’s extra stock i.e. drinks, he sells them to the fixer as he has his own bar. The Porter also is the comic character in the play.

So why did you become an actor?
Why did I become an actor? I realised I enjoyed it so much and that it was something I felt fulfilled in. After I come off the stage I feel like I’ve done something – expressed myself and given something back to people. And it was my first paid job ever. When I was 14-years-old, growing up in Nigeria I was in secondary school doing sciences with the aim of studying pharmacy and I got the bug and changed my career.

What are working on after Fixer?
I will be working on a physical theatre devised project with a company called Tangled Feet. The project is called Home and will be embarking on a UK tour including the Latitude Festival.

Related links

Tangled Feet
Latitude Festival

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