Femi elufowoju, jr
Performer & Director
In 2014 I was invited back to Lagos to direct 'Finding Home', Nigeria’s first spoken word theatre piece produced by Efe Paul Azino and Lydia Idakula Shobogun's Gbagyi Child. The stage production featuring indominable poets Titilope Sonuga, Sheila Ojei, Ndukwe Onuoha and and Adesola Fakile propelled me to reconsider my long-term ambition of developing a project funded ensemble with a specific performance philosophy.
In 2015 the Elufowoju jr Ensemble was set up by Thomas Kell and I with the sole purpose of creating exceptional World class African theatre with imaginative flair for the international stage.
We launched the company in December at the Theatre Royal Stratford East with a workshop production of Rotimi Babatunde and Oyebade Dosunmu's music theatre adaptation of Lola Shoneyin's ‘The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives’ as premiered in Abeokuta two years previously. The launch featuring an all UK cast was developed over three weeks, funded by a Kickstarter Crowdfunding Campaign, a generous Arts Council England Grant for the Arts and with in kind support from the host venue.
The genesis behind the Elufowoju jr Ensemble was discovering the novel ‘The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives’ written by Lola Shoneyin. In the spring of 2011 I came across the book in a second-hand book stall beneath London's Waterloo Bridge. I was instantly beguiled and immediately tracked down the Lagos-based writer. Within two years her story was commissioned, adapted, cast, produced and directed for one of the most feted International Art and Books festival in Africa.
THE SECRET LIVES OF BABA SEGI'S WIVES
The landmark co-production is ear-marked for a seven-week run at London's Arcola Theatre in 2018 prior to a national tour
The creative team and cast include long-term collaborators Sola Akingbola,
Ayo-Dele Edwards, Patrice Naiambana, Lola Shoneyin, Rotimi Babatunde, David Abra and multi-award winning designer ULTZ.
Be a part of its legacy and make it happen
The ensemble in pursuit of continuing the Global Growth of theatre excellence from an African perspective plan to deliver the following productions between (2019- 2022)