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Lion And The Jewel, The

This show has now closed, please visit our London Shows page for a full list of current productions.

About the Show Less...

Wole Soyinka’s first masterpiece is a raucous comedy with dark and serious undertones.

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The Lion And The JewelSidi is the vain village beauty of the Nigerian village, Ilunjinle. When a Western photographer captures her on film, the men of the village are smitten. Chief among her pursuers are westernised teacher Lakunle and the lecherous tribal chief Baroka. Their attentions force Sidi to question her relationship with the men in her life, while struggling to find herself a niche in life; somewhere between old and new, modern and traditional.

Wole Soyinka wrote his subversive comedy while just 23 years old. The Lion And The Jewel is considered the first masterpiece by Africa’s most distinguished writer. Soyinka was born in Nigeria in 1935 and joined the Royal Court as writer in residence in the 1950s, during which time he wrote his first plays. In his career he has published over 40 works, and was the first African to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986.

The Lion And The Jewel is directed by the Nigeria-based director and playwright Chuck Mike, and is performed by London-based company Theatre Artistes, which has Wole Soyinka as its patron.


Important Dates & Timing

Opening Night: 28/09/2005

Closing Night: 08/10/2005

Running time: 2h (plus interval)

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Cast & Creative


Ayanlere Alamu Alajede, Yaw Asumaeu, Natasha Bain, Shola Benjamin, Luisa Eyo, Derek Ezenagu, Hazel Holder, Omonor Imobhio, Diwele Molale Lubi, Bimbo Manuel, Chomba Njeru, Anthony Ofeogbu, Antoinette Tagoe


Director - Chuck Mike

Producer - Collective Artistes, the Young Vic & BITE:05, Barbican as part of Young Genius

Designer - Atlanta Duffy

Choreographer - Koffi Koko

Author - Wole Soyinka

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