Monday, April 25, 2011


One festival, two countries, three playwrights, ten weeks 
Ade Solanke, Arinze Kene and the three playwrights including in the London via Lagos Season
playwrights Lydia Adetunji, Ade Solanke and Arinze Kene; All three of have their plays in the London via Lagos season at Oval House Theatre.

They took time out to share the synopsis of the much anticipated play billed for the Oval House Theatre from May 3 to July 10, 2011

Read more below

How would you describe Fixer and what was the inspiration behind the play?

Lydia Adetunji: It's a play about a man trying to get by in a world that is difficult. It's about a man who introduces foreign journalists who are looking for a story in Nigeria to the people who can give them that story. He gets caught up between groups of foreign journalists that are reporting on a fire on an oil pipeline and the militants who are attacking the pipeline. A few things inspired me.

I used to work as a journalist so I was interested in journalistic ethics and whether its right or what circumstances its right, for a journalist to use a fixer but then putting that fixer in danger in order to get the story. Also because I used to live in Nigeria and I was sort of amazed at how people were able to get by in difficult circumstances.
How would you describe your play Pandora's Box and why should people come and see it?

Ade Solanke: It's a funny play about a serious issue. Sometimes you have to make choices that are hard and a parent may have to make choices that goes against what the child wishes are; so it is about a moment like that in a mother's life. Having been in denial to a certain extent she refuses to acknowledge that her son has gone a little bit off the track and that urgent remedial action is required for him to get back on the right path.

Come and see it and enjoy yourself and experience a different view of Africa. It's the Africa I know, people who are professional, well-heeled, well-educated, progressing in their lives and doing what they can to develop their families, their nation and their continent and contribute to the world.
How would you describe Little Baby Jesus And how did you come up with the name?

Arinze Kene: It is as an innocent play that says something else about young people and what we go through when we are growing up. I was inspired by actual events in my life and I just wanted to write the feeling of growing up and the feeling of having something happen to you and how you react to it and are forced to grow up; so all of the characters in the play have been forced to grow up quite quickly.

With regard to the name I wrote the play back to front and when I was done there was this theme that kept running through it and it was kind of about people killing their future, unknowingly. That was one of the themes that ran through it and there are also loads of references to Christianity so I just thought about the name and it was the perfect fit.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to do what you do?

Arinze Kene: I'd tell them to do as many favours for people as possible. Make yourself a service for others. You learn a lot. Also, get yourself a mentor. It's important.

Ade: Practise the craft of dramatic writing, because what the audience decide is king and if your work is going to connect it has to be strong. Really graft at the craft.

Lydia: Keep working on your craft, see and read as much as you can, be persistent and keep getting your work out.
When things get tough - what keeps you motivated?

Ade: It's the belief that everyone has a contribution to make to the culture and whatever the obstacles it's almost a responsibility to put ourselves in the picture and to express our reality.

Lydia: Try and focus just on today's work.

Arinze Kene: When things get tough, and they often do, I listen to motivational audio books. Some people think it's cheesy and it might be, but it works for me. My brother introduced me to Tony Robbins' audio books when I was 14 and I've been listening ever since. Dr Wayne Dyer is also another one who helps me when things get on top

Info: The London via Lagos season runs at Oval House Theatre from May 3 to July 10, 2011 |

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