Sankofa, shortlisted for The Women’s Prize for Playwriting 2021, gets its premiere this week at London’s Bread & Roses Theatre. The one-woman play, written and performed by Nicole Acquah, runs in London for five performances only from 15 to 19 February 2022 before transferring to Leicester next month of Curve’s New Work Festival. Time to get booking!
Weaving together live music, storytelling, and traditional pottery, Sankofa is a semi-autobiographical show about legacy, heritage, and what it means to belong as part of the African diaspora.
san – to return
Nicole’s grand-uncle, Asiedu, was a playwright; one who shaped the landscape of Ghanaian theatre. Nicole doesn’t know this. She also writes plays, thousands of miles away in London.
ko – to go
Discovering her grand-uncle’s work sets Nicole on a journey to learn more about her lineage. Touring her own work around Europe, she is faced with the significance of her heritage, her blackness, her art. Is there something connecting her and Asiedu – something stronger than culture, than bloodline even?
fa – to fetch
Before she returns to England, Nicole will have to learn what it truly means to go back into the past in order to move forward into the future.
Sankofa is written and performed by Nicole Acquah and presented by her theatre company, which makes multi-disciplinary work that showcases and celebrates diverse voices. It’s supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
The premiere production is directed by Carol Leeming MBE, with choreography and lighting by Kwame Asafo-Adjei. The vocal coach is Eleanor Manners, and musicians are Doyin Ade and Vanessa Garber. Sankofa is produced by Tia Alice Ray.
Age Guidance is 16+. Content warnings: racism, sexual assault, panic attacks, and references to murder.
Nicole Acquah is an actor, writer and educator who studied drama and creative writing at Royal Holloway before going on to study MA Advanced Theatre Practice at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. She is currently on attachment with the Bush Theatre as part of their Emerging Writers Group. Her work is fascinated by the multi-layered human experience, exploring race, faith, sexuality and womanhood.