Chigozie Obioma in conversation and The Fishermen
Sunday 7 July, 15:30 – 18:30
£20 / £18 / £15 / £12 for RAS Members
A double-bill of mythic Igbo traditions including a staged reading and a conversation with Chigozie Obioma
Man Booker shortlisted novelist Chigozie Obioma discusses his writing, Igbo mythology and stories of the everyday with Irenosen Okojie. In a conversation with readings from The Fishermen and An Orchestra of Minorities, we explore blurred lines between myth and reality, thoughts on fatherhood, and reworking ancient Greek classics with Igbo cosmology. The evening opens with evocative staged reading of The Fishermen, starring David Alade and Valentine Olukoga.
An Orchestra of Minorities (2019)
Umuahia, Nigeria. Chinonso, a young poultry farmer, sees a woman attempting to jump to her death from a highway bridge. Horrified by her recklessness, Chinonso joins her on the roadside and hurls two of his most prized chickens into the water below to demonstrate the severity of the fall. The woman, Ndali, is moved by his sacrifice. Bonded by this strange night on the bridge, Chinonso and Ndali fall in love. But Ndali is from a wealthy family, and when they officially object to the union because he is uneducated, Chinonso sells most of his possessions to attend a small college in Cyprus.
Once in Cyprus, he discovers that all is not what it seems. Furious at a world which continues to relegate him to the sidelines, Chinonso gets further and further away from his dream, from Ndali and the place he called home. Spanning continents, traversing the earth and cosmic spaces, and told by a narrator who has lived for hundreds of years, the novel is a contemporary twist of Homer’s Odyssey. Written in the mythic style of the Igbo literary tradition, Chigozie Obioma weaves a heart-wrenching epic about destiny and determination.
The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma
Adapted for the stage by Gbolahan Obisesan.
In a small Nigerian town, Ben and Obembe, along with their two older brothers, slip away to fish at a forbidden river. Unnoticed and carefree, they continue until one day the prophecy of a madman changes the course of their lives forever. Based on the Man Booker Prize-shortlisted novel by one of Africa’s major new voices, New Perspectives presents a staged reading Chigozie Obioma’s powerful allegory of brotherhood, vengeance and fate in a new adaptation by Fringe First-winning playwright Gbolahan Obisesan, starring David Alade and Valentine Olukoga.
Chigozie Obioma was born in 1986 in Akure, Nigeria, and currently lives in the United States. He is an assistant professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His debut novel, The Fishermen, is winner of the inaugural FT/Oppenheimer Award for Fiction, the NAACP Image Awards for Debut Literary Work, and the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction (Los Angeles Times Book Prizes); and was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize 2015, as well as for several other prizes in the US and UK. Obioma was named one of Foreign Policy’s 100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2015.
Irenosen Okojie is a Nigerian British author. Her books have won and been shortlisted for multiple awards. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, The Observer, The Guardian, the BBC and the Huffington Post amongst other publications. She was presented at the London Short Story Festival by Booker Prize winning author Ben Okri as a dynamic talent to watch and was recently inducted as a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Tickets include both the play and conversation. Suitable for ages 16+
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Image: Chigozie Obioma by Jason Keith
In partnership with New Perspectives