Joining the Arcola’s exciting and empowering production of Lola Shoneyin’s The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives, Patrice Naiambana, Jumoké Fashola, Christina Oshunniyi, Layo-Christina Akinlude and Marcy Dolapo Oni will appear as Baba Segi and his wives.
The cast will also include Ayo-Dele Edwards, Tania Nwachukwu, Diana Yekinni, Ayan De First, and Usifu Jalloh.
The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives is a scandalous, engrossing tale of sexual politics and family strife in modern-day Nigeria. Lola Shoneyin’s bestselling novel bursts on to the stage in a vivid adaptation by Caine Award-winning playwright Rotimi Babatunde. Femi Elufowoju, jr directs a multi-talented West African ensemble in the UK premiere production, featuring live Yoruba music, songs and dance.
This exceptional production will be uniquely performed in the round in the Arcola’s main space using an ensemble featuring actor-musicians led by Ayan De First and Usifu Jalloh. At times, the entire ensemble becomes an acoustic band with traditional instruments used including Omele drum, Gbedu drum, Fulani flute, thumb pianos, shekeres, Iya Ilu talking drums, djembes, and Apala drum.
Baba Segi has three wives, seven children, and a mansion filled with riches. But now he has his eyes on Bolanle, a young university graduate wise to life’s misfortunes. When Bolanle responds to Baba Segi’s advances, she unwittingly uncovers a secret which threatens to rock his patriarchal household to the core.
Femi Elufowoju, jr comments, Working in global theatre, this is arguably the most important piece I have had the good fortune of embracing. It takes stumbling upon an obscure, albeit enchanting, novel eight years ago to realizing its transition to national theatre stages in Nigeria and now the UK, to understand the true purpose and magic of crafting theatre. The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives encapsulates quite remarkably the universal theme of paternity fraud and human endurance, and is told through a riveting narrative accompanied by searing live music, song and dance. If it’s the last thing I present in British theatre – it’ll certainly be my proudest contribution to its grand design.
The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives is at The Arcola Theatre 7th June – 21st July 2018.