New Perspectives has announced new casting for the return of their award-winning production of Chigozie Obioma’s Booker Prize-shortlisted novel The Fishermen, with David Alade joining the cast in the role of Ben alongside Valentine Olukoga who will reprise the role of Obembe.
David Alade has previously played the lead role of Thomas in Stormzy’s short film Gang Signs & Prayer directed by Rollo Jackson for the BRIT Award winner’s debut album release. Most recently, David has written and performed in Foxhunting (Courtyard Theatre), a verbatim drama drawing on transcripts of interviews with South Londoners about their experiences of knife crime.
New Perspectives will also welcome the return of Valentine Olukoga, who has performed at theatres including the Royal Court and the National Theatre, as well as a regular role in ITV drama Unforgotten. The Fishermen will return to the Fringe as part of the British Council Edinburgh Showcase (19th – 24th Aug) before transferring to the West End’s Trafalgar Studios (3rd Sept – 12th Oct), and touring to Canterbury’s Marlowe Theatre Studio (16th – 19th October)
Gbolahan Obisesan has adapted the story of four brothers torn apart by a prophecy. In a small Nigerian town, Ben and Obembe slip away to fish at a forbidden river along with their two older brothers. Risking the wrath of their father, who expects great things of them all, they continue unnoticed and carefree until one day the prophecy of a madman changes the course of their lives. Based on the Man Booker Prize-shortlisted novel by one of Africa’s major new voices, New Perspectives present Chigozie Obioma’s powerful allegory of brotherhood, vengeance and fate.
The Fishermen is the debut novel by Nigerian author Chigozie Obioma. It was shortlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize, and was named a best book of the year by the Observer, the Economist, the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal. Chigozie Obioma will be headlining at the Africa Writes festival alongside a staged reading of the play on Sunday 7th July. The author will also be talking about his new novel, An Orchestra of Minorities.
Director Jack McNamara said, “The Fishermen was led by two powerhouse performances in Michael Ajao and Valentine Olokuga, who won a Stage Award last year. Finding a replacement for the brilliant Ajao was never going to be easy, but after much searching we have found someone truly special in David Alade. His presence and skill are unique and I am hugely excited to see how he and Valentine bring a whole new dynamic to this next phase in the show’s life.”