Diana Nneka Atuona – interview
Alfred Fagon Award 2013

Published: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 2:21 PM | Interview by Gillian Fisher
Diana Nneka Atuona Diana Nneka Atuona

Alfred Fagon Award nominee Diana Nneka Atuona; shortlisted for her play Liberian Girl talks to Afridiziak Theatre News.


What made you want to write?

I love to tell stories; I think it’s something I get from my mother. Ever since I was a child I have always lived in a bit of a dream world inside my head and writing is a great way to get all my thoughts out. It’s kind of therapeutic. This particular play deals with young women and how they experience civil war – I tried to be honest without depressing the audience too much.


Does being from a Nigerian background influence your writing?

Most definitely; though I would add, not exclusively. My Nigerian heritage is a massive part of my identity as a writer and there’s a massive wealth of untapped stories from my community to tell.


As a female playwright do you often write about specifically female issues?

No, not specifically. In fact I would say I probably find it easier to write male characters. But all in all I don’t consciously decide things like that when I am writing plays. I always focus on the idea and if it turns out to be one requiring an all-male or all-female cast, I’ll go with that.

It’s no exaggeration to say that being on the shortlist has been a real game changer. It’s given my writing career such a boost already, so I am thrilled to bits!


In the next 20 years what changes would you like to see in British theatre?

I’d like to see the bigger venues taking bigger risks. Much more new writing from actual new writers! I’d also like to get to a stage where theatre is so innovative that we no longer need to debate the issue of diversity.


What does being shortlisted for the 2013 Alfred Fagon Award mean to you?

It’s no exaggeration to say that being on the shortlist has been a real game changer. It’s given my writing career such a boost already, so I am thrilled to bits!


Info: The Alfred Fagon Award 2013 takes place on Friday, November 29 at the Tricycle Theatre. There are limited tickets available to the general public. Book tickets


Related links

See nominees for 2013 Alfred Fagon Award
Alfred Fagon Award 2013 shortlist
Alfred Fagon Award - official website
Alfred Fagon Award - Twitter
Alfred Fagon Award 2013 competition
Levi David Addai wins 2011 Alfred Fagon Award
Oladipo Ogboluaje wins 2009 Alfred Fagon Award
Paula B Stanic wins 2008 Alfred Fagon Award





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