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Iyalode Of Eti - 2016 Tour

A Reimagining of The Duchess of Malfi


Utopia Theatre presents the world premiere of Iyalode of Eti by Debo Oluwatuminu. Inspired by John Webster’s masterpiece The Duchess of Malfi, this is a unique reinvention of a classic. Set in pre-colonial Yoruba land, Iyalode of Eti transforms the Jacobean drama of the original into an enchanting, lyrical theatrical experience that is fresh, dynamic, and surprising. Rich language, bold characterisations, and thrilling storytelling carry the audience into an atmospheric world that is presented with startling intimacy and electric physicality. As visual as it is verbal, with the rhythms, flavours, colours, and myths of the Yoruba driving the intricate plotting, this is contemporary performance that blurs formal boundaries and transcends geographical borders. Ancient storytelling techniques mesh with modern physical theatre. Music, chant, dance and poetry are woven into an engrossing whole. Iyalode of Eti is classical theatre reborn, universal theatre for a global audience.


The recently widowed Iyalode longs to marry her lover Oguntade. But her scheming and controlling brothers forbid their union. When Iyalode secretly marries Oguntade, their love and lives are threatened. Iyalode of Eti is the story of how a woman asserts her strength and fights for her heart in a land ruled by men. An English play is retold as an African mystical fable riddled with rituals, hauntings, double-crossings, playful levity, and potent tragedy.



West Yorkshire Playhouse: September 22 – 24,  7 PM; Sat. matinee at 2 PM

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Sheffield Theatres (Crucible Studio): September 26 – 28, 7 PM

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Cast in Doncaster: September 29 – 30, 7 PM

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#iyalodeofeti #uktour #precolonialyorubaland #jacobean

Labake Confronts Esubiyi     Photo credit: Robling Photography
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4:30 PM16:30

The Secret Lives Of Baba Segi's Wives



In 2014, Actor, Theatre Director and BBC Radio producer, Femi Elufowoju Jr formed the ‘Elufowoju jr Ensemble’ in a bid to research and develop Nigerian theatre. Lola Shoneyin’s, THE SECRET LIVES OF BABA SEGI’S WIVES, was adapted for the stage by Caine Award winning playwright Rotimi Babatunde. It first premiered in Lagos, Abeokuta, 2 years ago and now Femi directed/workshopped a pilot version.

The Elufowoju jr Ensemble has brought together an all British-Nigerian cast which brings Lola Shoneyin's critically acclaimed book "e Secret Lives of Baba Seg's Wives" to life and it has succeeded spectacularly. The production combined choreography, music (composed by Oyebade Dosunmu) and movement vocabulary (Uche Onah) together with balanced direction and energetic acting to create a visual delight on stage.

Meet Baba Segi . . .
A plump, vain, and prosperous middle-aged man of robust appetites, Baba Segi is the patriarch of a large household that includes a quartet of wives and seven children. But his desire to possess more just might be his undoing.

And his wives . . .
Iya Segi—the bride of Baba Segi's youth, a powerful, vindictive woman who will stop at nothing to protect her favored position as ruler of her husband's home.
Iya Tope—Baba Segi's second wife, a shy, timid woman whose decency and lust for life are overshadowed by fear.
Iya Femi—the third wife, a scheming woman with crimson lips and expensive tastes who is determined to attain all that she desires, no matter what the cost.

Bolanle—Babi Segi's fourth and youngest wife, an educated woman wise to life's misfortunes who inspires jealousy in her fellow wives . . . and who harbors a secret that will expose shocking truths about them all.



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