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  For IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 24 May 2018

Ilé La Wà deals with issues of immigration, deportations and the Windrush Scandal

‘You have chosen Britain but has it chosen you’? The Windrush Scandal is the latest event to remind us of questions that don’t go away for some of us. How do you belong to a place that doesn’t see you?

Anni Domingo directs Tolu Agbelusi’s debut play Ilé La Wà (We Are Home), which returns from a sold-out preview at Richmix in 2016, for a 4-show run at Stratford Circus Arts Centre from 21 – 23 June 2018 during Refugee Week.

Caught in the web of the government’s hostile environment as collateral damage, or target, four character’s lives are interrupted when they can’t produce ID in a spot check. What follows in the holding room where they wait for verification of their legal status’, are a series of interrogations of the self and each other, laying bare the realities and implications of always being ‘the other’ in a place you call home.

Speaking about her play, Tolu said, “When I wrote Ilé La Wà, I was contemplating how society decides who gets to belong. It feels very much about the Windrush Scandal, but that’s a new face for the consequences of our government leading the charge to say some of us don’t belong. Government-sanctioned go home vans, institutional racism with in the police, threatened deportation of children who’ve lived here most of their lives, and the mental toll of feeling you don’t belong any place, were just a few of my preoccupations”. 

 Ilé La Wà, which means ‘We Are Home’ in Yoruba, (a Nigerian dialect/language) is based on real stories from interviews, workshops and media accounts. It’s a defiant affirmation that says ‘nobody gets to tell me where I belong’. This is the first time Tolu Agbelusi is working with the director, actor and writer, Anni Domingo, so we are excited for the show, especially with a whole new talented cast.

The cast includes Damilola DK Fashola, Mamito Kukwikila, Winston Sarpong and Tolu Agbelusi.

 Press night 22nd June with post show Q & A

Ilé La Wà runs from 21 – 23 June 7.00pm with a matinée on Saturday.

 ENDS


For interviews or further press information, contact Emmanuel Sugoi (Producer) at whenifindhome@gmail.com or 07532 825 243

Website: www.whenifindhome.com

Social Media: FB/Insta/Twitter: @whenifindhome

Hashtags: #HomeIs

Note to Editors

 Ilé La Wà is a product of ‘Home Is…’, a poetry and visual arts project curated by Tolu Agbelusi exploring the impact of physical and emotional displacement on people’s concepts of home. Supported by the Arts Council & Counterpoint Arts, Tolu interviewed about 30 people across London, Manchester and Liverpool about their experiences of home. Working with a group of poets, many of those narratives became poems, which were the basis for the play & collaborations with illustrators, a dancer & an animator, which culminated in a two-week exhibition at Richmix.

The following video and web links provide more information about the project:

-       Exploring Home Documentary

-       The Exhibition

-       Video Speed Tour of Home Is Project in 2016

-       Are You British, Is This Home?  

Strongly and beautifully worded reclamation of what it means to be and to belong(Exeunt)

Hard-hitting piece worth experiencing’ (Afridiziak)

Let me be clear. This is a show for everyone, no matter what you believe’ (A Younger Theatre)

Bio:

Tolu Agbelusi is a Nigerian British writer, performer, educator and lawyer. Born in Nigeria, she moved to the UK at age 13 and has since lived on a few other continents, igniting her where/what is home interrogations. As a lawyer who currently works in civil liberties and a writer who teaches all ages, she is constantly engaging with how our actual or perceived identities shape our experiences. When she isn’t figuring out what it means to not be Nigerian enough anymore and to never have been sufficiently British in the first place, she is being commissioned as a poet by the BBC & the Southbank amongst others, and leading guest lectures (poetry) including to Ph.D. students at Birbeck and graduate students at Kings College. Tolu also runs Home Sessions, a seasonal poetry & development course for BAME writers.  For more information, visit her website at www.toluagbelusi.com

Anni Domingo is an actress, singer, director and writer working in theatre, radio, TV and films. Recently spotted on the National Theatre stage for Palimpsest, a panel celebrating exemplary Black women in UK theatre, with the likes of Noma Dumezweni and Yvonne Brewster, Anni brings to her role as director, 40+ years of experience and a natural knack for storytelling.  Anni’s company ‘Shakespeare Link’ takes Shakespeare workshops to schools and colleges and her Shakespeare workbooks are used in schools. She has just finished her first novel, Breaking the Maafa Chain.

Refugee Week is a worldwide annual celebration hosted in the week around World Refugee Day on the 20 June. In the UK, with a nationwide programme of arts, cultural and educational events, it’s the largest Festival celebrating the contribution of refugees and encouraging a better understanding between communities.

Meet The Cast of Ilé La Wà

 (L to R)Winston Sarpong plays Ronu, Tolu Agbelusi plays Sasha, Mamito Kukwikila plays Tapiwa & Damilola 'DK' Fashola plays Ellie. 

(L to R)Winston Sarpong plays Ronu, Tolu Agbelusi plays Sasha, Mamito Kukwikila plays Tapiwa & Damilola 'DK' Fashola plays Ellie. 

‘You have chosen Britain but has it chosen you’? The Windrush Scandal is the latest event to remind us of questions that don’t go away for some us. How do you belong to a place that doesn’t see you?

 Anni Domingo directs Tolu Agbelusi’s debut play Ilé La Wà (We Are Home), which returns from a sold-out preview at Richmix in 2016 for a 4-show run at Stratford Circus during Refugee Week from 21 – 23 June 2018.

Caught in the web of the government’s hostile environment as collateral damage, or target, four character’s lives are interrupted when they can’t produce ID in a spot check. What follows in the holding room where they wait for verification of their legal status’, are a series of interrogations of the self and each other, laying bare the realities and implications of always being ‘the other’ in a place you call home.

Speaking about her play, Tolu said, “When I wrote Ilé La Wà, I was concerned with how society decides who gets to belong. It feels very much about the Windrush Scandal, but that’s a new face for the consequences of our government leading the charge to say some of us don’t belong. Government-sanctioned go home vans, institutional racism with in the police, threatened deportation of children who’ve lived here most of their lives, and the mental toll of feeling you don’t belong any place, were just a few of my preoccupations. Ilé La Wà, which means ‘We Are Home’ in Yoruba, is based on real stories from interviews, workshops and media accounts. It’s a defiant affirmation that says ‘nobody gets to tell me where I belong’. We Are Home. Ilé La Wà.

Book Now by clicking here


 Photo: Stuart McClymont

Photo: Stuart McClymont

Anni Domingo  (DIRECTOR) is a multiple-threat talent.  She's worked extensively and internationally as an actress in Theatre, Television, Radio and Film & runs her own company ‘Shakespeare Link,’ running workshops on Shakespeare in schools, youth clubs and various theatres all over the UK. In addition to gracing stages across the country including Theatre Royal Drury Lane,Birmingham Rep & The Crucible to name a few, Anni has also worked for BBC radio and other stations as  Actress, Broadcaster, and Interviewer. She has directed theatre internationally and  is a respected Lecturer. Outside of the arts, she sits as a Magistrate. Anni brings the wealth of a well lived live to directing and story telling and we are excited to work with her. 

 Photo: Moses Baako

Photo: Moses Baako

Emmanuel Sugoi (Producer)  Freelance producer - currently working for Oval House Theatre and as a Freelance Producer, he's managed multiple productions, including at the Cockpit Theatre, for Raw Materials, and East London Shakespare Company. A writer and a performer, his debut poetry-theatre piece will showcase at the Roundhouse on June 14th. 

 

  WINSTON SARPONG  as Ronu 

WINSTON SARPONG as Ronu 

  TOLU AGBELUSI  as Sasha  (also Writer of Ilé La Wà and Executive Producer of Home Is... Project) 

TOLU AGBELUSI as Sasha  (also Writer of Ilé La Wà and Executive Producer of Home Is... Project) 

  MAMITO KUKWIKILA  as Tapiwa 

MAMITO KUKWIKILA as Tapiwa 

  DAMILOLA DK FASHOLA   as Ellie

 ILÉ LA WÀ (We Are Home) WRITTEN BY TOLU AGBELUSI & DIRECTED BY ANNI DOMINGO

ILÉ LA WÀ (We Are Home) WRITTEN BY TOLU AGBELUSI & DIRECTED BY ANNI DOMINGO

The Home Is Project is looking for 2 actors for the small scale tour of Ilé La Wà which will be opening at Stratford Circus for a 4 show run between 21 – 23 June. Could it be you?

The Play

How do you belong to a place that does not see you?

Four strangers are about to become collateral damage in the government’s plans to create a hostile environment for illegal immigrants. Detained together after a random spot check in London, they begin to unravel in the pressure-filled holding room, where they are left without answers. Some of them are undocumented migrants, others insist they are not – but all are certain that whatever the situation, the UK is their home. At least, the only home they have left.

At a time when displacement is a constant, Britain is faced with the windrush deportation saga, Brexit and a war on immigration, Ilé la Wà interrogates what it means to say we are home. You claim Britain. Has it chosen you?

Who we Need

Ronu -     Young black man who can pass for 16 – 18 and can play younger. This character came to the UK as an undocumented minor at the age of 9 and discovered he wasn’t British when it was time to apply for uni. He's been threatened with deportation and is currently going through the bureaucratic nightmare of immigration control. Strong but emotional.  

Ellie -     Middle age black high level professional woman who can play 35 - 45. Very well put together, refined & uppity. The character’s had a difficult foster child history but hides it. She’s consumed by work & wants to be defined by her achievements and not her background. She's keen to distance herself from her blackness. 

Possible audition date:  4th May Production: 21 – 23 June                                                           Other dates: Between August and November  TBC                                                                Rehearsal schedule: 4 – 20th June                                                                                                    Fee: £500pw inclusive of expenses. Travel and accommodation expenses outside London relevant to future dates will be covered by the company.

If you are interested, Please send an expression of your interest  with a telephone number to whenifindhome@gmail.com including your spotlight / website / starnow / casting call pro etc. link (which should contain your cv and headshot) and if you are not a member of Spotlight, a cv, a headshot and a showreel if available. 

 

Home Is... The Exhibition opens

November is clearly a milestone month, so here goes no 2. 

I curated an exhibition bringing so many brilliant artists and poets together in one space to explore home and displacement. The work is beautiful and has been well received.  There is so much to be happy about. More pictures coming but for now, these will do. Happy people enjoying the beauty that is the Home Is... exhibition. 

Be sure to check it out by the 27th of November. 

ILÉ LA WÀ opens in Manchester

12th November 2016 is a day that will live long in my memory. 

I first started speaking to people about Home Is... in November/December 2013. Back then I hoped the project would be on it's legs by 2014, with shows, workshops, etc. The reality is that this has been a hard struggle, making contacts, working with so many artists, producing a whole project which boasts of a play and an exhibition, acquiring funding, playwriting, marketing,etc. I have worn many hats and sometime I wasn't sure why I didn't give up. Seeing the play on stage, is a milestone worth celebrating. 

To say I was overjoyed on Saturday, when my first ever multi-handed play was performed to a theatre of almost 200 people is an understatement. The response has been encouraging from professionals and theatre lovers alike;

"Amazing, excellent, made me cry"

"The writing was phenomenal"

"Really moving and well performed. The poetry was beautiful and affecting; blended seamlessly into the dialogue"

Roll on Sunday 27th November when Ilé la Wà premiers in London. 

 

THE JOURNEY TO HOME IS... blog for Platforma Arts

So I wrote a blog post for Platforma Arts/Counterpoint Arts on the journey to Home Is...

Have a read:  

"... I am now in that category of people who are not Nigerian enough for Nigeria and not British enough for Britain. These days, I proudly say I am a combination everywhere I have been and everyone I’ve met. This is the complication of home as a concept. It is nation, it is family, it is birthplace, it is emotion and ancestry; whatever it is, it is meant to be comfortable— a place where you can be yourself, safely.

The reality of course is more complicated..."

Read on

URGENT! Looking For Ronu

Things shape and shift around here every now and again and we just roll with the change. One of our cast members has suddenly become unavailable one week before rehearsals and we need someone to fill his part. 

Could it be you? 

Who: Ronu is about 18. He is intelligent and street smart, lingo included. Came to the UK from Sierra Leone when he was 10 for a 'holiday". He's stayed with family ever since. He discovered he did not have papers when he started applying for Uni. Capita has been on his back since. One application to stay has failed and another is pending. He's an emotional character. 

Productions: 12th November in Manchester and 27th November in London with a possibility for future productions. 

Remuneration: £500 pw. inclusive of expenses, return journey to Manchester covered and informal accommodation arrangement provided for nights in Manchester.

Rehearsal schedule:

  • London: Mon - Fri only - 24th October -9th November; 10 -6 daily save for 25th & 31st which are 10 -5 and 9th Nov which is 10 - 2 as the cast is expected to travel to Manchester that night.
  • Manchester - Nov 10th - 12th, 10 - 6 with the show on 12th Nov
  • London - 24th Nov - 27th November with show on 27th November

Click for play synopsis

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED PLEASE EMAIL US: Sarah - sarahmyottmeadows@gmail.com  OR Tolu at whenifindhome@gmail.com

GETTING READY

We are getting ready for November in the Home Is... world and things are slowly coming into place. This poster designed by Ian Bobb tickles me. I love it. On days like today when the stress is overwhelming, it helps to have something bright to look at - remind me why I started this journey. 

SOLD OUT!!!

29th June 2016. We planned for it. Give the people a taste of the project Tolu said. Get them looking forward to full productions in Manchester and London in November. And so it was, we sold out. The lovely people who attended said "it was brilliant"; "apt in the wake of Brexit"; "necessary", etc. 

I could tell you more but video says it better.