Wednesday, 3 June 2015

My Father and Other Superheroes at The Drum, Birmingham

Directed by Benji Reid | Written and performed by Nick Makoha

Influences from physical theatre, spoken word and comic books come together in this personal story of fatherhood spanning Uganda, Saudi Arabia, Kenya and the UK
THE DRUM, Birmingham 24th June 7.30pm
 
This is the story of a poet who revisits his childhood when he learns that he is going to have a baby. For Nick Makoha, superheroes such as Superman, Spider-Man and Luke Skywalker had inadvertently provided the blueprints of how to be a good dad in the absence of his real father. In a highly physical piece, Nick illustrates his personal journey from being smuggled out of his home country of Uganda at a young age, to life in the UK, Saudi Arabia and Kenya, learning what it takes to truly become a hero.
 
This UK tour builds on the success of sold out runs at the Southbank Centre and Unicorn Theatre. As a special treat, audiences will receive a free graphic novel version of the show, created by former Marvel Comics and DC Comics illustrator Mike Collins, who has worked on such venerable titles as X-Men, Captain America, Batman, Spider-Man and the Doctor Who graphic novels.
 
Director Benji Reid said, "My Father and Other Superheroes is about rejection and acceptance, exploring these through the inner child, the here-and-now, and fantasy. We witness Nick's journey as he unpacks his personal history to unlock the keys to fatherhood. We come to understand that to our children, we all have the potential to be heroes and heroines."
 
Writer and performer Nick Makoha said “I’m a huge fan of comic books– for me, they’re modern folklore. There are four main heroes in the play and each one represents something different to me. The show represents a true story about my own childhood; there’s very little that’s been tweaked. In many ways it’s a gift to my daughter; she’s the source of the story so it’s something to show her how much she means to me.”
 
Born in Uganda, Nick Makoha fled the country with his mother, leaving behind a vicious civil war during the Idi Amin dictatorship. He has lived in Kenya, Saudi Arabia and currently resides in London. He has presented his work at many international events and toured for the British Council in Finland, Czech Republic, the US and the Netherlands. His pamphlet, The Lost Collection of an Invisible Man, was published by Flipped Eye in 2005 and he has been widely published in journals and anthologies. Most recently he was runner-up in the 2014 Brunel University African Poetry Prize, an international competition chaired by Bernadine Evaristo MBE.
 
Benji Reid is an award winning creative producer, devisor and director. He is currently Associate Director at the Royal Exchange, Manchester. His theatre performances have played to sell out audiences at the National Theatre of England, Sadler’s Wells, Sydney Opera House and Greenwich Village Theatre, New York. He trained as a dancer with the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and as an actor with David Glass and Double Edge Theatre. In 2005, Benji received the NESTA Dreamtime Fellowship and recently received a Wellcome Trust award to explore physical theatre and sport.
 
 
Award-winning Nimble Fish is a leading cultural producing company founded in 2006 by Samantha Holdsworth and Greg Klerkx. Recent projects include Secret Sleuthing (2011, with Punchdrunk), and the Re:bourne Festival (2010). In 2007, the company produced the first production of Clare Bayley’s play The Container, which won Edinburgh Fringe First and Amnesty Freedom of Expression Awards and has been subsequently produced to acclaim across the UK, the US, and Canada. In 2013, through its ReAuthoring Project, the company created the UK’s largest-ever crowd-sourced story project, You, Me & Everyone in Portsmouth.
 
Developed in association with mac Birmingham and Contact Theatre, and originated through the Spoke-Lab programme at Theatre Royal Stratford in London
 
Running Time:  60 minutes | Suitable for Ages: 8+
@fathersuperhero | #fathersuperhero | www.fathersuperhero.com

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