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African Performance
Listen to the dramas for 2007
People on a scenic background in Africa

African Performance 2007


A Bull Man's Story

African Performance 2007 first prize winner is by Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, from Nigeria.

Mohammed Mansaray
Mohammed had perfect dramatic timing
The story of a family torn apart by domestic violence is told by a young boy.

The first challenge for producer Neva Missirian was to find a child actor who was able to play such a demanding role - a role that is key to the success of the play.

Fortunately, nine year old Mohammed Mansaray, who lives in London, but whose parents are from Sierra Leone, was the answer to her prayers.

He spontaneously played his part with sensitivity and perfect dramatic timing.

His fictional mother and father are played by Andi Osho and Chucky Venice, and the Mama Tola is Golda John. John, his father's friend is played by Seun Shote.

Listen to The Bull Man's Story

 Listen to the companion programme to The Bull Man's Story

A Time for Justice

The second prize winner by Anne Uren from Botswana, posed quite a few problems for producer, Catherine Fellows.

Andrew Sachs
Andrew Sachs plays the role of Hans
For example, how do you convey in aurally that the main character, Hans, and his Bushman wife, Nkasi, are actually both dead and commenting upon the action from "the beyond"?

Catherine opted in the end for a subtle wind effect, which is not intrusive, but a little bit haunting and, she hopes, not too similar to the sounds of the Kalahari desert where much of the action is set.

Another challenge was finding actors who could play Hans, a German anthropologist, and his son, Bernard, also German, convincingly.

The team were delighted and honoured when Andrew Sachs accepted to play Hans. Andrew's family were evacuated to Britain from Germany during World War II, and coincidentally, spent their first few months in London living in the home of a renowned German anthropologist.

Kenneth Collard, who plays Bernard, also has German parents. Nkasi is played by Noma Dumezweni and Connie M'Gadzah plays Ernst. Don McCorkindale is Stephan.

Listen to A Time for Justice

The Proposition

The Proposition, by Jide Afolayan seemed a perfect vehicle for African Performance regular Femi Elofuwuju Jnr.

Medina Ajikawo
Medina Ajikawo plays the role of Bimpe
He plays Dr Illo, a lecherous lecturer who attempts to blackmail innocent undergraduate Bimpe (Medina Ajikawo) into spending "a few nights in a hotel" with him.

Terrified that she will fail her exams if she refuses him, Bimpe seeks help from her friend Ese (Ayo-dele Ajana) and women's rights activist Mama Mia (Andi Osho).

The women hatch a cunning plan, and, despite the efforts of a comical campus security officer (Usifo Jalloh), Dr Illo falls for it hook line and sinker.

Jude Akuwudike, as Head of his Department, has the upper hand in the final, hilarious, ignominious scene.

The Proposition is produced by Ondina Ramos da Fonseca.

Listen to The Proposition

The Game Plan

The Game Plan by Crystal Ading' is a dramatic love story set in Kenya, and it was to Nairobi, Kenya, that producer Jenny Horrocks, headed to make it.

Nini Wacera and Keith Pearson doing a bedroom scene from The Game Plan
Actors Nini and Keith doing a scene from The Game Plan
Nairobi is home to many talented actors, whereas there are very few Kenyans acting in London, so the move was a must if the play was to sound authentic.

Jenny recruited Radio DJ Nini Wacera as her lead, Dinka.

The play turned out to sound very authentic indeed.

The cast and crew were rehearsing one violent scene in which several shots are fired, only to have a Kenyan neighbour come thundering round to the garden they were using ready to take on a real band of brigands!

Listen to The Game Plan
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