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Home > Afridiziak Theatre News > Whats ON in October 2010 > The Garbage King  
Until 31 Oct
The Garbage King
   
The Garbage King
The Garbage King
Adapted by Oladipo Agboluaje from the bestselling novel by Elizabeth Laird
Directed by Rosamunde Hutt
Designed by Jean Chan

Mamo and Dani are runaways from very different backgrounds. Mamo lives in Addis Ababa's shanties until his mother dies, leaving him and his sister Tiggist alone. While Tiggist is out searching for a job, he is kidnapped by child-traffickers and sold as a farm slave. When he finally escapes back to the city, his sister is gone.

Dani's mother is sick. His father has given up on him, and plans to send him to live with a hated 'uncle' to learn some discipline. Feeling terrified and alone, Dani runs away.

When they meet whilst hiding in a graveyard, the two boys realise that their only chance of survival lies in their newfound friendship and their acceptance into one of the many gangs who roam the streets of Addis Ababa, where gang loyalties are both vital and dangerous. Once adopted by a gang, they begin to learn the rules and tricks of survival, working together to scavenge and beg for what they need. Mamo's skills as a scavenger soon earn him the nickname 'The Garbage King'.

Elizabeth Laird spent many years in Ethiopia, and fell in love with the country and its people whilst teaching and working on British Council projects there. The Garbage King is inspired by the real experiences of a boy she met on the streets of Addis Ababa: the real-life 'Mamo'. He is now in his thirties and still lives in Addis Ababa, where he works for an IT company and teaches drama to children.

Adapted by British-Nigerian playwright Oladipo Agboluaje, whose previous work includes God is a DJ and The Hounding of David Oluwale, the Unicorn's evocative adaptation of Laird's bestselling novel will give audiences a flavour of Ethiopia's vibrant culture, and features live music from Ethiopian musician Temesgen Taraken.

The Garbage King is performed on a set designed to reflect the way in which the characters see new uses for things that we would throw away. Made entirely from recycled and found objects, it was created as part of the Linbury Prize for Stage Design by finalist Jean Chan.

For everyone aged 10+
Lighting designed by Ian Scott
Musical Direction by Rita Ray and Max Reinhardt
Choreography by Jeanefer Jean-Charles

Address: Unicorn Theatre, 147 Tooley Street, London SE1 2HZ
Info: www.unicorntheatre.com/garbageking



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