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Interview with Mojisola Elufowoju about Here’s What She Said To Me

Interview with Mojisola Elufowoju about Here’s What She Said To Me

Here’s What She Said To Me follows Agbeke, Omotola and Aramide; African women connecting with each other over two continents, across time and space. Their history is spread between Nigeria and the UK, from the 60s to the present. Together they share their struggles, their joys, tragedies and broken dreams in order to find healing in the present. 

This empowering and joyous live theatre production is coming to the Connaught Studio, Thu 10 February at 7:30pm. Read the following interview with Mojisola Elufowoju, Utopia’s Artistic Director for Here’s What She Said To Me to find out more.

What can audiences expect from Here’s What She Said to Me? 

A family saga that begins in Ibadan, Nigeria, in 1957, three years before the nation’s independence. We see three actors travelling between Nigeria and the UK, through the next six decades and playing three women down the generations, switching fluidly from direct address to dialogue, from English to Yoruba, and incorporating dance, song and mime in thrilling ways and switching between a panoply of family members around them, from inspiring grandmothers and stern husbands to spirited daughters whose confidence and hope, as girls, is yet unbroken. Oladipo Agboluaje’s script captures the women’s romances, achievements and dashed hopes.

Where did the inspiration for Here’s What She Said to Me come from?

Here’s What She Said To Me is deeply rooted in true events. It was first born out of conversations between me (Mojisola Elufowoju – Utopia Artistic Director) and my daughter. We realised how little communication we would share around certain areas of our lives, that this selective silence was something I had in turn experienced with my own mother and that by not learning from one another’s challenges, mistakes and trauma we are unable to create new paths for the next generation. To break this silence, I went on to tell my story and that of the women in my family to playwright, Oladipo Agboluaje.

What has the rehearsal and creative process been like for Here’s What She Said to Me over the last year?

It’s been full of challenges. We take it one day at a time and we are always appreciative of the fact that It is a luxury to have the opportunity to make theatre in the current climate. With the uncertainty around the rising Covid cases, every day that actors and creatives make it into rehearsals with a negative test is a blessing and we continue to ride on the hope that we will get to create a piece of work we are proud of and that we have the opportunity to share with our audiences.

What do you think audiences will take away from Here’s What She Said to Me?

A heartfelt and humbling story brought to life on an almost bare stage. An experience of total theatre where music and movement become metabolised within the story.

What first drew you to becoming a theatre director and founding your own theatre company?

I’ve had a passion for theatre from a very young age. Having gone to drama school and performed in a few plays, I realised that I am not in favour of the limelight and most importantly, I don’t like learning lines, directing seems to be the next best option.

I set up Utopia Theatre in 2012. The vision for setting up the company came from the need to see representation on stage, and to see a different kind of work produced. It was a vision and commitment to see myself on stage. I began making work with some of the people I graduated with. This began a journey towards a series of partnerships and opportunities.

Last year Utopia Theatre launched a series of rehearsed readings of African plays online. how does it feel to be returning venues?

It feels great to be back in rehearsals and especially having this opportunity to take the show to venues outside of Sheffield. It is our biggest tour ever and we are very excited by the opportunity.

Here’s What She Said To Me is at the Connaught Studio on Thursday 10 February 2022, 7:30pm. Book Tickets now at www.wtm.uk/heres-what-she-said-to-me or call the Box Office on 01903 206206.

Worthing Theatres and Museum is a registered charity, and we are committed to providing you with quality art and culture. For information on how you can support us as your local arts charity, such as donating or buying a membership, please click here.

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