The Fishermen

Derby Theatre Wednesday 12 – Thursday 13 September
Booker Prize-nominated novel about vengeance and fate in a small Nigerian town brought to the stage
“A supreme piece of theatre”
Derby Theatre is thrilled that The Fishermen, a New Perspectives and HOME production, will be part of their season of productions this autumn. The stage adaptation of this Booker Prize-nominated novel is currently on a national tour, receiving rave reviews, and will play at the Theatre for two dates only on Wednesday 12 and Thursday 13 September.
The Fishermen is the debut novel by Nigerian author, Chigozie Obioma, nominated for the 2015 Man Booker Prize and named a best book of the year by The Observer, The Economist, the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal.
Fringe First-winning playwright Gbolahan Obisesan adapts 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 in association with HOME present Chigozie Obioma's powerful allegory of brotherhood, vengeance and fate.
On tour, the production has received, and continuing to receive, rave reviews from audiences and the press alike. The Guardian described it as “Something very special” ★★★★, with The Stage adding “A supreme piece of theatre” ★★★★ and “Stunningly good” ★★★★ from the Manchester Theatre Awards and “Moving…spellbinding” ★★★★ from The Daily Mail.
Audience comments include: "Completely blown away. A Beautiful, resonant, complex show. The staging was simple yet so effective. Directing was amazing and the actors were sublime. Bravo! Bravo!"; "Incredible and moving performance! Best show I have seen at the Fringe. Absolutely captivating"; "AMAZING. The actors were incredible and the performance was intense, enthralling and unforgettable"; "Stunning and entirely absorbing. It has to win an award!"; "This blew me away”; "Beautiful storytelling. Beautiful performance. Blown away!"; "Absolutely fantastic show - best show I've seen. Truly amazing. Talented, heartfelt, emotional, beautiful. So SO GOOD!"
The Fishermen is performed by two extraordinarily talented actors, rising stars Michael Ajao (The Lorax, Br’er Cotton) and Valentine Olukoga (Liberian Girl).
Director Jack McNamara said: “The rapturous response to Chigozie Obiama’s novel is one of the great success stories of modern African literature, and we are honoured to be presenting it in stage form for the first time. In our production, we have taken this intense family saga and boiled it down to an extraordinary encounter between two brothers. I am extremely excited to bring the talents of such special young actors to audiences across the country, continuing our mission to bring fresh international stories into the touring circuit.”
Gbolahan Obisesan is a director and Fringe First winning writer. His previous plays include an adaption of Pigeon English (Bristol Old Vic, Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013) and the Fringe First winning Mad About the Boy (2011), and he was one of the six writers commissioned by the Royal Court and the Young Vic for Rufus Norris’ Feast. He recently held the role of Genesis Fellow/Associate Director at the Young Vic Theatre, previously directed the 2017 Olivier nominated Cuttin it (Young Vic, Birmingham Rep, Sheffield Crucible, Royal Court, Yard Theatre) and Off The Page, a short film for the Royal Court/Guardian's microplays season.
Tickets for The Fishermen are from £10. For more information and to book tickets call the Box Office on 01332 593939 or online at The production is suitable for age 12+.
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