Belong: Navigating the African-British Experience
A new generation of theatre practitioners are emerging and they are telling stories that cut across the multiple-facets of society in a visceral manner as they take on the themes of multi-culturalism, identity, parenting, relationships and much more through the diaspora point of view and voice, about their heritage as Africans born and raised in Britain, but realise that they belong to both worlds.
Starting today at the Royal Court Theatre, London, the Olivier award-winning playwright, Bola Agbaje returns with Belong, a satirical play that questions our notion of home. A play that moves between London and Nigeria, it follows Kayode, a British MP, who loses an election in London and decides to go back to Nigeria – a country he thinks he knows. Against his better instincts he gets drawn into politics and finds himself battling with a powerful local politician. Belong examines where we belong – or where we think we belong as Kayode begins to question where he truly belongs and confronts his multiple identities during the course of the play. Belongs also aims to show Nigeria as a modern, complex, important country and provide a different story to those often in the media.
Agbaje has been described as one of the great talents of her generation of playwrights. Like her previous offerings, Gone Too far and Off The Endz, she returns to the theme of identity and politics, which will resonate with theatre goers. With a cast that includes, Lucian Msamati (Tiata Fahodzi’s artistic director in the role of kayoed) Jocelyn Jee Essien, comedian and actress (Three Non Blondes and Little Miss Jocelyn) and Richard Pepple, this is bound to be another love affair between the critics, audience and Agbaje.
Belong is at the Royal Court Theatre until 26 May and then moves to Theatre Local – CLF Art Café at the Bussey Building, South East London, until 23 June.