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The Fishermen - Arcola Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

NEW Perspectives’ adaptation of the Booker Prize-nominated novel The Fishermen, by Chigozie Obioma, is returning to the Arcola Theatre for a two-week run from November 20 to December 1, 2018.

The production opened at HOME in July before an Edinburgh Festival Fringe run (where it won The Stage Award) and a sold-out week at the Arcola.

Gbolahan Obisesan has adapted 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.

The Fishermen is the debut novel by Nigerian author Chigozie Obioma. It was nominated for the 2015 Man Booker Prize, and was named a best book of the year by the Observer, the Economist, the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Director Jack McNamara said: “After our sold out run a month ago we are thrilled for The Fishermen to be invited back to the Arcola, this time to their main space. Being able to perform this play for the Arcola’s uniquely diverse audiences felt like a homecoming for us. It’s a perfect environment for this story to take place and I am thrilled that so many more people will now have the chance to see it.”

Gbolahan Obisesan is a director and Fringe First winning writer. His previous plays include an adaptation 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.

The Fishermen is performed by Michael Ajao and Valentine Olukoga.

New Perspectives is an East Midlands based company with over 40 years experience of touring highly original productions to venues of all sizes across the UK, from mid-scale theatres to village halls. Since 2012, they have been led by Artistic Director Jack McNamara whose productions include The Boss of It All by Lars von Trier (Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh and Soho Theatre), The Lovesong of Alfred J Hitchcock by David Rudkin (Brits off Broadway, New York and UK tour), and Darkness Darkness (Nottingham Playhouse co-production). They are currently touring Crossings, a first-time collaboration with West Midlands theatre company Pentabus.

The Fishermen is suitable for ages 12+.

Tickets: £22 – £10. To book, call the box office on 020 7503 1646 or visit

Times: Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm, Saturday matinee at 3pm.

Running Time: 1hour 10 minutes.

Also at the Arcola: D H Lawrence’s 1913 play The Daughter-in-Law (January 10 to February 2, 2019).