Fishermen’s tale of vengeance and fate coming to Hatfield stage

The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma, which stars Michael Ajao and Valentine Olukoga, can be seen at the Weston Auditorium in Hatfield. Picture: Pamela Raith Photography.

The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma, which stars Michael Ajao and Valentine Olukoga, can be seen at the Weston Auditorium in Hatfield. Picture: Pamela Raith Photography.

Pamela Raith

A stage adaptation of a Booker Prize-nominated novel about vengeance and fate is coming to a theatre in Hatfield.

New Perspectives in association with University of Hertfordshire Arts presents The Fishermen at the Weston Auditorium on Tuesday, September 25 at 7.30pm.

Directed by Jack McNamara, The Fishermen is the debut novel by Nigerian author Chigozie Obioma.

It was nominated for the 2015 Man Booker Prize and named a best book of the year by the Observer, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, and the Financial Times.

Fringe First-winning playwright Gbolahan Obisesan adapts the story of four brothers torn apart by a prophecy.

The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma, which stars Valentine Olukoga and Michael Ajao, can be seen at the Weston Auditorium in Hatfield. Picture: Pamela Raith Photography.The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma, which stars Valentine Olukoga and Michael Ajao, can be seen at the Weston Auditorium in Hatfield. Picture: Pamela Raith Photography.

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.

The play will be performed by rising stars Michael Ajao and Valentine Olukoga in a virtuous piece for two actors.

Director Jack McNamara said: “The rapturous response to Chigozie Obiama’s novel is one of the great success stories of modern African literature, and we are honoured to be presenting in stage form for the first time.

The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma, starring Valentine Olukoga and Michael Ajao, can be seen on stage in Hatfield. Picture: Pamela Raith Photography.The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma, starring Valentine Olukoga and Michael Ajao, can be seen on stage in Hatfield. Picture: Pamela Raith Photography.

“In our production, we have taken this intense family saga and boiled it down to an extraordinary encounter between two brothers.

“I am extremely excited to bring the talents of such special young actors to audiences across the country, continuing our mission to bring fresh international stories into the touring circuit.”

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, the company has been led by artistic director Jack McNamara and developed a distinctive programme of major international premieres.

The Fishermen is part of UHArts’ forthcoming Autumn/Winter 2018 season.

Throughout the year, UHArts will continue its cutting-edge visual arts, film and live arts programme including the Hayward Gallery Touring exhibition at the new St Albans Museum + Gallery, de Havilland Philharmonic Orchestra concerts, contemporary circus shows and more.

Suitable for ages 12 plus and lasting 70 minutes, The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma can be seen at the Weston Auditorium on the University of Hertfordshire’s de Havilland Campus in Hatfield on September 25.

Tickets cost £10, £8 concessions, and £5 UH and school students.

• Book online at www.uharts.co.uk or call the box office on 01707 281 127 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm, phone only).

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