“This wasn’t the life Mr and Mrs Olanrewaju conjured up in their dreams. When they thought of Stratford, they pictured the Olympic Park, not a cramped flat in a rat-ridden tower block”
Rotimi is born to loving, if poor, parents. When they see an opportunity to provide him with all the things they never had, they take it – at which point things take a very dark turn indeed. Part horror, part satire, Dipo Baruwa-Etti’s Then I Heard a Black Man Cry is a terrifying new fairy tale for a disturbed age.
Written by Dipo Baruwa-Etti
Read by Paapa Essiedu
Directed by Jennifer Bakst
Sound, Music and Editing by Max Pappenheim
CONTENT WARNING – This audio drama contains strong, offensive language including use of the n-word as well as violent imagery, gun violence, and references to multiple forms of trauma and abuse, including self abuse, racism and exploitation.
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Dipo Baruwa-Etti is a playwright, poet, and filmmaker. Currently Channel 4 playwright on attachment at Almeida Theatre, his forthcoming play AN UNFINISHED MAN will premiere at The Yard Theatre, published by Faber & Faber. For screen, he is developing several TV projects and a short film as writer-director with BBC Drama and BFI.
Paapa Essiedu’s theatre credits include Pass Over (Kiln Theatre), The Convert (Young Vic), Pinter One (Harold Pinter Theatre), Hamlet, King Lear (RSC, Kennedy Center and Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York – Ian Charleson and UK Theatre Award winner for Best Actor), Racing Demon (Theatre Royal Bath), The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Mouse and his Child (RSC), You For Me For You (Royal Court Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (Tobacco Factory), King Lear (National Theatre), Black Jesus (Finborough Theatre), Outside on the Street (Pleasance Theatre), and Dutchman (Orange Tree Theatre). For television, his work includes I May Destroy You, Gangs of London, Press, The Miniaturist, Black Earth Rising, Revolting, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Kiri, Not Safe for Work and Utopia; and for film, Murder on the Orient Express and Women at the Well (Screen International Star of Tomorrow 2017).
Creative Associate at English Touring Theatre Jennifer Bakst is a director and dramaturg. She was previously New Work Associate at Kiln Theatre. Her theatre credits as a director include Dear Future Generation (Kiln Theatre Young Company), Armstrong’s War (Finborough Theatre) and theatre work with young prisoners for the Synergy Theatre Project. Her credits as an associate director include Handbagged (Kiln Theatre/59E59 New York) and The Great Wave (National Theatre)
Max Pappenheim‘s theatre includes The Night of the Iguana (West End); The Way of the World (Donmar); The Children (Royal Court/Broadway); Waiting for Godot (Sheffield Crucible); Macbeth (Chichester Festival Theatre); Dry Powder, Sex with Strangers, Labyrinth (Hampstead); Ophelias Zimmer (Schaubühne, Berlin/Royal Court); Crooked Dances (Royal Shakespeare Company); One Night in Miami (Nottingham Playhouse); Hogarth’s Progress (Rose Theatre Kingston); The Ridiculous Darkness (Gate Theatre); The Gaul (Hull Truck); A Kettle of Fish(Yard Theatre); CommonWealth (Almeida); Creve Coeur (Print Room); Switzerland, Spamalot, The Glass Menagerie (English Theatre of Frankfurt); Mrs Lowry and Son(Trafalgar Studios); My Cousin Rachel, The Habit of Art, Monogamy, Teddy, Toast, Fabric, Invincible (National Tours). Opera includes Miranda (Opéra Comique, Paris); Scraww (Trebah Gardens); Vixen (Vaults/International Tour); Carmen: Remastered (ROH/Barbican). Radio includes Home Front (BBC Radio 4). Associate Artist of The Faction and Silent Opera.