Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka at Southbank Centre June 1st



To discuss culture and politics in benefit of London theatre company Collective Artistes


23 May 2011: Professor Wole Soyinka, one of the world’s most renowned poets and playwrights and winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize for Literature, will discuss his life in culture and politics with Southbank Centres’ Artistic Director Jude Kelly OBE in a special benefit for Collective Artistes (CA) on June 1st. 

Both Prof Soyinka and Ms. Kelly are patrons of Collective Artistes (CA), a London-based professional theatre company that produces and tours plays from the African Diaspora. 

CA Artistic Director, Chuck Mike, honed his theatre skills under Soyinka’s tutelage and has been a long-term working associate with him in Nigeria. Mr. Mike also worked closely with Ms. Kelly in Nigeria casting the 1995 production of The Beatification of Area Boy and as Associate Director for King Cotton at The Lowry, Manchester in 2007. 

“I am so pleased to bring both Collective Artistes’ patrons together for what is sure to be a scintillating evening,” says Mr. Mike. “As my mentor and friend for over 30 years, Professor Soyinka has been a key source of creative inspiration for my work as an activist and director on the international stage.”

Prof Soyinka, who is donating his participation in this event to benefit Collective Artistes, says of their work: “Collective Artistes is a theatre company that not only serves community but IS community. This has remained the creative ethos of the Collective Artistes ensemble.”

Collective Artistes is offering an exclusive chance to meet Prof Soyinka in person at a Gala Reception following the conversation.   

CA’s productions have included: Things Fall Apart (1997 and 1999), the TMA award-winning Yerma (2001), Sense of Belonging (2002 and 2003), Trojan Women – Women of Owu (2004), The Lion and the Jewel (co-produced with the Barbican and the Young Vic, 2005), The African Company Presents Richard III (2009) and The Meeting (2010). 

Hand-in-hand with professional productions, CA delivers Theatre for Development projects that engage with young people and community members in projects that promote cultural diversity, tolerance and equality.


Wednesday 1st June 2011
Southbank Centre, Queen Elizabeth Hall
Purcell Room, 7.45pm
TICKETS:  £15 tickets available through the Southbank box office on 0844 847 9910
GALA RECEPTION TICKETS: £75 (including admission to the talk) only available through Collective Artistes on 020 7 607 5453 / [email protected]

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