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OLU JACOBS PERFORMS IN DUBLIN THEATRE FESTIVAL

By Gregory Austin Nwakunor
OLU JACOBS
OLU JACOBS

VETERAN actor and one of the top stars of Nigeria's film industry, Olu Jacobs, is in Ireland for the performance of a new version of Playboy of The Western World, as written by Nigerian-born Bisi Adigun and Roddy Doyle. This play, which was originally done by John Millington Synge, and has constantly been revived and revisited, will be the centre of attraction at the Abbey Theatre from today till November 24, as part of the Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival's 50th anniversary.

Directed by Jimmy Fay, the cast for this new version of the play also includes Angeline Ball, Liam Carney, Laurence Kinlan and Eileen Walsh.

Regarded as the most (in)famous plays of Synge, it is one of the most reverred plays in Abbey Theatre's repertoire.

In this hilarious but uncompromising new version of the play, Christy Mahon is Christopher Malomo, a well-educated refugee seeker from Nigeria, on the run after he 'killed' his father with a pestle for pounding yams.

Adigun and Doyle have transposed the play from the West of Ireland to a West Dublin suburb mixing the colloquial snap of Doyle's language with the poetic voice of Adigun.

In this vivid re-telling, Synge's extraordinary play re-discovers its ability to tell the truth of a contemporary Irish experience and continues its legacy, as vibrant as ever.

Adigun, who had lived and worked as a performing artiste in England for three years before relocating to Ireland in 1996, holds a B.A in Dramatic Arts (Nigeria, 1990), MA in Drama Studies (UCD, 1998) and another M.A in Film/Television (DCU, 2002); he is currently on the doctoral programme in Drama Studies in Trinity College, Dublin.

He is the artistic director of Arambe Productions, Ireland's first African theatre company, which he founded in 2003. Adigun is also a musician (drummer) and has played with The Pogues, The Dubliners, traditional Irish group Whirlygig and the Irish-based multi-cultural drumming collective, De jimbe. With De Jimbe, he has performed in Hanover, New York, Korea and Senegal.

Roddy Doyle is a globally-acclaimed Irish novelist, dramatist and screenwriter. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree from University College, Dublin, and spent 14 years as English and Geography teacher before becoming a full-time writer in 1993.

He has written over 10 books, including a children's series. In 1991, he was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Britain's highest literary award, and in 1993, won it for his book, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha.

Several of his books have been made into successful films, beginning with The Commitments (in 1991), The Snapper (1993) and The Van (1997). Doyle wrote the screenplays for each of these movies and has continued to write for film and TV. Other screenplays include The Family (BBC, 1994), a hard-hitting drama about domestic violence, and the off-beat romantic comedy, When Brendan Met Trudy (2000).