Inua Ellams and Fuel present:
An Evening with an Immigrant
Poems, anecdotes and stories combine to tell a personal history of migration
Written & performed by Inua Ellams
“His words are incredible… The poems are just stunning.” ★★★★ Everything Theatre
Born to a Muslim father and a Christian mother in what is now considered by many to be Boko Haram territory, award-winning poet and playwright Inua Ellams left Nigeria in 1996 for England, aged 12. Expanding on his autobiographical Edinburgh Fringe First Award-winning play The 14th Tale, An Evening with an Immigrant is littered with new poems, stories and anecdotes, telling Inua’s ridiculous, fantastic, poignant immigrant story of escaping fundamentalist Islam, directing an arts festival at his college in Dublin, performing solo shows at the National Theatre, and drinking tea with the Queen of England, all the while without a country to belong to or place to call home. Responding to a world where the movement of people is never far from the front pages, theatre producers Fuel present An Evening with an Immigrant as one of several projects with artists that address the most pressing issue of our time. As Fuel set out on this next leg of the tour, the company is supporting Liberty’s campaign to ‘Save our Human Rights Act’. Article 8 of the HRA gave Inua grounds to be granted Leave to Remain in 2009.
An Evening with an Immigrant follows on from the premiere of Inua Ellams’ brand new Barber Shop Chronicles, a Fuel, National Theatre and West Yorkshire Playhouse co-production, which ran at the National Theatre from 30 May to 8 July and at West Yorkshire Playhouse from 12 to 29 July. Inua’s third play at the National considers the role of the barber shop for African men, wherever in the world they are living, leaping from a barber shop in London to Johannesburg, Harare, Kampala, Lagos and Accra.
Inua Ellams was born in Nigeria in 1984, and moved to the UK as a teenager. His work merges visual art, spoken word and theatre, and he is known for his for iconic imagery, beauty and attention to detail. He writes about his upbringing, the experience of immigration, and of living in the UK today, bringing words to life with pace, rhythm, cadence and intonation. His first collection of poetry, Thirteen Fairy Negro Tales was published by Flipped in 2005. His first play The 14th Tale was awarded a Fringe First and the Edinburgh Festival. His second play Untitled was long listed for the Alfred Fagan award. His second pamphlet Candy Coated Unicorns and Converse All Stars was published in 2011. His third play Black T-Shirt Collection ran at the National Theatre in 2012. In 2013, he wrote Mostly Like Blue a play for a cast of eight young people, Cape – a play on vigilantism which toured to schools and
prisons, before running at the Unicorn Theatre in London. He is currently working on new plays with The Tricycle and the Royal Shakespeare company as well as two books of poetry #Afterhours and Of All The Boys Of Plateau Private School.
Fuel aims to catalyse positive change in the world by producing new live performance by inspiring theatre makers for and with people across the UK and beyond. We seek to realise this vision by producing a programme of artistic work inspired by the ambition of the outstanding artists we support. These artists encourage audiences to understand fears, imagine a different future, and through that experience and insight, inspire change – individually and collectively – in order to better understand and more fully contribute to the world we live in. Fuel was founded in 2004 and is led by Louise Blackwell and Kate McGrath. From a base at Somerset House, London, Fuel works locally,
nationally and internationally to develop, create and distribute new work to the widest possible audience. Fuel is a National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England, and a registered charity.
Fuel is currently working with artists including: Will Adamsdale, Clod Ensemble, Encounter, Inua Ellams, Lewis Gibson, Gyre & Gimble, Nick Makoha, Racheal Ofori, Frauke Requardt, David Rosenberg, Andy Smith, Melly Still, Uninvited Guests and Melanie Wilson.
@FuelTheatre | @InuaEllams | #AnEveningWith | fueltheatre.com
Running Time: 90 minutes | Suitable for ages 14+
Written and performed by Inua Ellams
Inua Ellams and Fuel present An Evening with an Immigrant
Produced by Fuel